Rail infrastructure construction could be nearing the $6 billion mark in the next 7 years, says a report from an independent research group that is also predicting increased passenger use and expanded rail routes.
Published by the Dublin, Ireland-based Research and Markets, Ltd., the report, U.S. Rail Infrastructure Market Size and Forecast, also notes a surprising new source of construction fueled by rail growth: the resurgence of neighborhoods adjacent to the nation’s rail yards and stations.
Because of the growing popularity of commuter transit lines, those neighborhoods, for years the residences of rail workers, are now being redeveloped into upscale mixed-use properties.
The report notes that overall light rail passenger has increased by 4.3 percent nationally with such cities as Phoenix, Houston, and New Orleans witnessing double-digit jumps.
The report’s predicted increase in rail infrastructure is partly based on the impressively diverse nature of the nation’s rail industry which today is made up of 21 regional railroads and more than 500 local railroads.
There are also currently more than 140,000 miles operated in the U.S. by Class I railroads.
A synopsis of the report adds that the “rebuilding of tunnels, tracks, bridges, and signals systems is anticipated to upgrade private rail networks” between now and 2025.
By Garry Boulard
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