Freight hauler CSX will be working on a line that runs through Northeast Philly into Bucks County, lowering track so that cars double-stacked with cargo containers can pass safely under local streets including Red Lion, Byberry and Southampton roads.
Double-stacking containers increases the clearance the rail cars need, which necessitates lowering the rail bed, said Robert Sullivan, a CSX spokesman. This will be accomplished by removing the soil underneath the tracks and then restoring the track bed, he said, adding that all of the work, which involves removing some trees, will be done on CSX property.
The $32 million project, which began in 2009, involves 25 miles of line in Philly and Bucks County and is expected to be completed by 2013, Sullivan said. It will connect the Philadelphia market with New Jersey and New York, he said.
“This is an important line, so trains will still operate while the project is under way,” Sullivan stated in an e-mail to the Northeast Times.
In some spots, he added, additional tracks will be constructed while the permanent track is lowered.
Sullivan said lowering the track has big economic and environmental advantages. Double-stacking containers, he said, enables trains to double their cargos.
“A fully loaded double-stack intermodal train can carry the equivalent of two-hundred, eighty trucks,” Sullivan said. “In addition, a freight train can carry one ton of freight nearly five-hundred miles on one gallon of fuel.”
Currently, double-stacked cars go around the city on their way to New Jersey and New York. Lowering the rail bed on the line that goes through the Northeast will cut that trip by 37 miles, Sullivan said.Other parts of the rail system headed up to New England already can accommodate double-stacked cars, he added. •• EndFragment