CSX Corp. and the Louisville & Indiana Railroad (L&I) have finalized an an agreement that grants the Class I a permanent easement to operate over the short line’s 106-mile corridor between Indianapolis and Louisville, Ky.
In addition to CSX’s $10 million purchase of the easement, the two railroads closed an operating agreement that calls for an additional $90 million in improvements to the track structure and right of way along the route, CSX and L&I officials said in a joint press release issued on Friday.
The CSX investment will enhance rail access for the Port of Indiana-Jeffersonville, and increase capacity and efficiency along the corridor, said CSX President and Chief Operating Officer Oscar Munoz.
“These critical infrastructure improvements include the installation of new rail, upgrades to the rail bed structure and bridge improvements to enhance safety and service for customers in the Midwest and provide more efficient rail service throughout the region,” he said.
About 20 miles of new rail will be installed along the line’s southern portion over the next several months.
In April, the Surface Transportation Board approved a joint proposal by CSX and L&I — an Anacostia Rail Holdings subsidiary— to upgrade the corridor between Indianapolis and Louisville.
“Since 2011, both L&I and CSX have coordinated with state and local officials to discuss the upgrade of the line to support manufacturers, farmers, marine ports and other contributors to the area’s economic growth,” said L&I President John Goldman. “As we undertake the first phase of construction, we will continue to collaborate with local officials to plan and execute construction activities to minimize disruptions to communities along the corridor.”