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Home / News & Reviews / News Wire / Digest: Senators introduce bill to provide $2.5 billion for grade-crossing improvements

Digest: Senators introduce bill to provide $2.5 billion for grade-crossing improvements

By | April 30, 2021

News Wire Digest for April 30: UP to build grain transload facility in Joliet; Ontario train station on sale for $1

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Passenger train on straight track
Passenger train on straight track
Amtrak’s Wolverine passes under a former Michigan Central coaling tower and crosses a road in Michigan City, Ind. New legislation would provide $500 million annually for grade-crossing improvements. (Trains: David Lassen)

Senators’ legislation would provide $500 million annually for grade-crossing separation, other improvements

U.S. Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Roy Blunt (R.-Mo.) have introduced legislation to provide $2.5 billion — $500 million annually for five years — for grade-crossing separation projects and other track relocation projects to improve safety or reduce congestion. “Too many people are injured or killed at at-grade crossings, and the safest crossing is one that does not exist,” Cantwell said in a press release. “Crossings can also delay the movement of people and goods all across the United States, hurting our competitiveness. With the volume of freight shipments projected to increase 17% by the year 2030, it is critical we act now to address this urgent infrastructure need.” The full text of the bill is available here. Association of American Railroads CEO Ian Jefferies said in a statement that “Railroads strongly support this common-sense solution to increase safety, reduce emissions and enhance transportation. … AAR looks forward to working with Sen. Cantwell and Sen. Blunt to advance this much-needed program, which will dramatically benefit the communities in which our members serve and improve the mobility of people and goods.”

Union Pacific will build grain transload facility at Illinois intermodal terminal

Union Pacific has announced it will build a grain transload facility at its Global IV intermodal facility in Joliet, Ill. The Global IV Transload will be managed by JCT, a joint venture of Consolidated Grain and Barge Co. and Gavilon Grain. UP says the facility should open in the fourth quarter of 2021, and when open will be able to process 50,000 containers per year. Grain arriving by truck will be loaded into international marine containers, shipped to West Coast ports, and then sent to overseas markets. “This facility will support the regional agriculture economy by providing reduced supply-chain costs and efficient loading support for exporting grain products, whole grains and oilseeds,” Kari Kirchhoefer, Union Pacific Vice President, Marketing and Sales Premium, said in a press release. “By co-locating on site at G4, we create greater efficiencies within the supply chain.”

Former Canadian National station for sale for $1 in Ontario

If you’d like to buy a train station, cheap, here’s your chance. If you’d like to live there, sorry. The website Daily Hive reports the Parry Sound, Ontario, station, built by Canadian National in 1932, is on sale for just $1. While the location is not zoned for residential use, the zoning for the 2,679-square-foot station would allow its use for such purposes as a hotel, restaurant, bar, or art gallery. Broker Matt Smith of Engel & Volkers told the website the $1 price is a sales strategy for unusual properties: “It’s worked quite well so far as I’ve fielded hundreds of inquiries over the past couple weeks.” The building has a heritage designation, which limits exterior changes.

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