As promised, more trains soon will be rolling through Seymour, and they will be longer and faster, railroad officials said.
Train traffic through the city is expected to increase the first week of December, now that a couple of major railroad projects have been completed.
“Beginning as soon as Dec. 4, with the track realignment in Seymour and the completion of the Flat Rock River Bridge replacement, communities may see an increase in train speed, frequency, and length on the Louisville & Indiana Railroad,” said company president John Goldman.
The railroad company sent notification of the planned increase in rail traffic to The Tribune via email Nov. 2.
These changes are the result of a federally-approved agreement between L&I and CSX Transportation, which uses the rail line to transport freight between Louisville and Indianapolis.
Under the agreement, CSX is spending $100 million to upgrade tracks, bridges and signals along the 106-mile corridor to safely support the growth.
CSX currently operates on average three to four trains per day on the north-south route, and that will increase to as many as 15. Train length may nearly triple the length of current trains.
The railroad project was announced in 2013 and approved by the federal Surface Transportation Board in 2015. At that time, it was estimated to take around seven years to complete the entire project from Louisville to Indianapolis.
“As freight volumes in the central United States continue to grow, CSX has been investing in critical freight rail corridors to safely meet the needs of the local customers and communities with faster, more efficient service,” Goldman said.
Because the railroad bisects Seymour, city officials are planning to construct an overpass to give motorists a route for getting around the trains.
The overpass is part of the $20 million Burkart South Bypass project and will cross the rail line southeast of Silgan and just north of East County Road 340N. Construction is expected to begin in early 2020.