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Help wanted: Rail plan being rewritten

(Fulton KY) - The state’s railway plan hasn’t been updated since 2002. It's that time again.

To get comments from those with the most to lose or gain from the plan, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet officials and private rail operators held comment sessions in Ashland, on the far northeastern edge of Kentucky, and Fulton on, the far southwestern end of the state.

Both towns are the only passenger train stations in Kentucky.

At the Fulton meeting, officials listened to complaints about railroad crossing maintenance. Railroads in the US are privately owned. Though the Transportation Cabinet maintains the road to the crossing, it must get permission to work around crossings.

When asked about high speed rail, officials were reluctant to predict when it would be available. In order to have high speed trains as in smaller countries like Japan and across Europe, there must be dedicated rail lines. The chances of money becoming available for the long distances necessary in a country the size of the US is slim.

Transportation officials were upbeat about getting the long range plan in place to take advantage of opportunities for improvement in rail transportation. Planning for new passenger rail lines is proceeding. If Kentucky is ready with a viable plan, it has at least a chance of being in on the new plan.

The public is welcome to comment on rail related issues through the summer of 2014.

Comments can be submitted through the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet website.

Click on “More” below.

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