Golden Spike Ceremony celebrates completion of railhead expansio - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Golden Spike Ceremony celebrates completion of railhead expansion project on Fort Benning

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FORT BENNING, GA (WTVM) -

A Golden Spike Ceremony marked the completion of the Ochillee Railhead Expansion Project on post today, Feb 6.

At 11:30 a.m., representatives from the Fort Benning Garrison, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, R.C. Construction and 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team met at the railhead located on Harmony Church, and pounded in the last spike to signify the completion of the $7.5 million expansion project, which began in 2012.

Ochillee Railhead is used primarily by the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team to facilitate the movement of heavy equipment such as M1A1 Abrams tanks. The expansion increases the railheads capacity.

"Fort Benning will now be able to move more equipment faster through the railhead," said Alan Bugg, Area Engineer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Project Manager April Simons says, "We started out with the capacity for 65 railcars possible for load out, and we've doubled that capacity, added 66, so we've got 131 railcars we can load out now. So the 3rd Infantry Division can mobilize quicker." 

The project involved constructing railroad tracks, including a switching system, ballast and cross ties adjacent to the Norfolk Southern right-of-way railroad that lies within the Fort Benning military reservation and south of the area known as Ochillee Junction.

Bugg says the total length of track expanded was approximately 3.98 miles.

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