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The Port of Moses Lake's Northern Columbia Basin Railroad Project and Port of Warden’s Rail Infrastructure Expansion Project have been included in the state of Washington's recently unveiled 2015-17 transportation funding package. The Northern Columbia Basin Railroad Project is designed to enhance and improve rail access to industries in the northern Columbia Basin area near Moses Lake, Wash., and accommodate expanded freight-rail service to the area.Increased rail traffic on the Connell-to-Moses Lake line has underscored a need to address infrastructure issues at the Columbia Basin Railroad's interchange point with BNSF Railway Co. in Connell, which was built nearly 100 years ago. The point's configuration is outdated and inefficient, and needs to be upgraded, according to the Columbia Basin Railroad.The Port of Warden Rail Infrastructure Expansion Project is designed to increase rail capacity and enhance rail service within the port. The project calls for constructing one mile of siding track in the port along the Columbia Basin Railroad's line between Connell and Moses Lake.Over the past few years, economic development has increased at the port, including the opening of a new commercial-scale canola seed crushing production facility, additional fresh produce packing and frozen and dehydrated food processing activities, and associated warehousing for the products. As a result, rail infrastructure is near capacity and more storage track is needed to support the efficient loading and unloading of rail cars, as well as train movements along the line, port officials said in a press release.
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