The Bayonet

Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014

Post marks Ochillee Railhead completion

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Fort Benning and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers celebrated the completion of the Ochillee Railhead Expansion Project with a Golden Spike ceremony Feb. 6 at the railhead located on Harmony Church.

Representatives from Fort Benning Garrison, Army Corps of Engineers, R.C. Construction and 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, participated in pounding the last spike of the railhead to signify the completion of the $7.5 million project.

O’chillee Railhead is used primarily by the 3rd ABCT to facilitate the movement of heavy equipment such as M1A1 Abrams tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles. April Simons, project engineer for Army Corps of Engineers, said the 3.9-mile expansion increases the railhead capacity.

“It started out with a capacity of 66 railcars possible for load out and we’ve doubled that capacity at 131 railcars,” she said.

The project included 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. Simons said the construction of railhead project progressed safely since it began in 2012.

“We’ve had about 37,000-man hours with no accidents so it’s definitely a success story,” she said.

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