Fort McCoy News July 22, 2016

Post rail lines upgraded; infrastructure improved

STORY & PHOTO BY SCOTT T. STURKOL
Public Affairs Staff

Improvements to the rail infrastructure at Fort McCoy are underway, said Directorate of Public Works (DPW) Project Manager Dan Hanson.

Eight existing on-post rail crossings will be removed and replaced with new precast concrete panels and 136-pound rails, Hanson said.

Nuvo Construction of Milwaukee is the contractor for the project. Work began in late May and will be completed in August.
DPW General Engineer John Adams said the use of industry-standard 136-pound rails improves the installation's rail capability. The weight designation refers to the weight of each 3-foot section, or 1 yard, of rail.

Contractors work on a railroad crossing on South J Street on Fort McCoy’s cantonment area July 11. A total of eight crossings are being upgraded with newer, heavier rails and precast concrete panels.
Contractors work on a railroad crossing on South J Street on Fort
McCoy's cantonment area July 11. A total of eight crossings are being
upgraded with newer, heavier rails and precast concrete panels.

Replacing the crossings is a good start toward improving rail capabilities to support an expected increase in rail operations, Adams said.

The precast concrete panels being used are made specially for railroad crossings and are infused with other material like rubber to allow for greater flexibility, Hanson said.

As part of a $900,000 DPW task order that is funding the rail construction, Nuvo built a new tank crossing across Highway 21 to give heavy, tracked vehicles direct access to the installation tank trail from rail loading/unloading areas. Other road-crossing work was completed in fall 2015.

Installation Transportation Officer David. J. Eckland with the Logistics Readiness Center Transportation Division said the installation's use of rail operations to support the training mission has grown.

For example in 2015, active-duty armored units from Fort Riley, Kan., deployed to Fort McCoy and redeployed to Fort Riley by rail. Earlier this year, the post supported several Army rail movements for multiple stateside and overseas operations that involved hundreds of rail cars.

"In terms of power projection, Fort McCoy is very important," Eckland said. "We can deploy anything the Army has by rail, or by air through utilization of (nearby) Volk Field, by inland river barge out of Brownsville (Minn.), or by commercial truck. Our rail capability is a key portion of this strategic relevance."

For more information about projects coordinated by DPW, call 608-388-4760. For more information about Fort McCoy's rail operations, call 608-388-3966.