Railroad Bridges Badly Damaged By Flooding

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Vermont’s state-owned rail lines have been heavily damaged by Tropical Storm Irene.

An inspection found that five of the state’s railroad bridges have major structural damage and need major repairs before they can re-open to freight traffic.

The middle piers of one bridge on the Connecticut River line in Hartford was moved more than 6 feet by rushing floodwaters. Yesterday, a crane was sent to stabilize that bridge, and allow work crews to install temporary shoring.

The Green Mountain line and the Vermont Rail South line rail beds have also seen a number of washouts, culvert failures and erosion of the rail bed.

Freight traffic is still running between Burlington and Rutland, and the Ethan Allen Amtrak line resumed service on Saturday.

Vermont Rail Systems estimates it will be three to four weeks before freight begins moving again on the Green Mountain rail line.

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