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National Gateway Project Progresses Eastward


WORK TO ENLARGE THE TUNNELS on the CSX Magnolia Cutoff along the Potomac River east of Cumberland, Md., began in early January 2012 after several months of prepara- tion. Tunnel and bridge clearances are being improved at 61 locations along the former Bal- timore & Ohio main line in conjunction with the National Gateway Project, which will per- mit CSX to run doublestack and other high- clearance trains between eastern ports and the Midwest. (At least 21 feet of vertical clearance is required to accommodate doublestacks.) The Magnolia Cutoff is located in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia east of Paw Paw, and is a 12-mile relocation of the original B&O main which was opened in December 1914. Contractors will remove the concrete liners in the ceilings of Randolph, Graham, and Carothers tunnels, while Stuart tunnel will be notched. Hard Rock Tunnel Contractors began working on Randolph and Stuart tunnels in early January; work on Graham and Carothers tunnels was scheduled to begin in late Janu- ary, and will be done by another contractor. The cost of the modifications to Randolph


tunnel alone is estimated to run $12,616,677, part of the $842 million private/public funding to cover infrastructure and intermodal termi- nal work associated with the National Gate- way Project. The entire project is scheduled to be completed by 2015. Before starting the tunnel enlargement,


20 APRIL 2012 • RAILFAN.COM


FOUR PHOTOS, ALEX MAYES


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