Riding the Rail

by Carter L. Wiecking, Asst. Editor; Civil Engineering Magazine, Reston, VA,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1998, Vol. 68, Issue 10, Pg. 60-63

Document Type: Feature article


Spurred by decaying or overcrowded roads, communities across the U.S. are planning, building or renovating light rail, freight rail and high speed rail systems. The rail boom, funded in part by TEA-21, offers vast opportunities for engineering firms. The greatest amount of work can be found in the light rail market. The relatively small scale of light rail projects and their adaptability make them attractive for many municipalities. The freight rail and high speed rail markets are inextricably linked because most high speed rail projects now underway in the U.S. will use existing freight rail tracks. Extensive track renovations and upgrades are necessary to accommodate both high speed passenger trains and increasingly heavy freight trains, providing another rich source of work for engineering firms.

Subject Headings: Rail transportation | Railroad tracks | Freight transportation | Light rail transit | Renovation | Project management | Light (artificial)

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