The Prairie State Energy Campus (PSEC) is a coal-fired generating plant and adjacent underground coal mine about 50 miles southeast of downtown St. Louis.
RailWorks served as the general contractor through all phases of the $4.6 billion project. RailWorks performed the track work, railroad crossing and signal construction, furnishing all track materials, and managing the subcontractors performing the earthwork and bridge construction. Track work from RailWorks Track Systems included constructing a total of 52,000 feet of new track, including a double-loop at the plant site’s four railroad crossings, and three railroad bridges.
In this year-long phase, RailWorks managed subcontractors Illinois Excavators and St. Louis Bridge Company to perform the earthwork and construct three bridges necessary for a new rail connection between CN's main line and the plant site. In addition to installing the decking on the bridges, RailWorks constructed the new 2,100-foot spur, the 5.5-mile lead track to connect with CN's main line and four highway grade crossings within the campus. After the grade crossing construction, RailWorks Signals & Communications installed, tested and commissioned the four mechanized signal systems at the crossings.
RailWorks began constructing the track infrastructure at the plant. With a multi-faceted subgrade, construction of the 18,350-foot, double-loop track with 11 #10 turnouts was particularly challenging over the course of another 12 months. RailWorks constructed the first half of the double-loop track then ceased work while construction of other facilities progressed.
RailWorks resumed work and completed the double-loop track in about four months. This track structure accommodates continuous delivery of unit trains to and from the facility.