US-based transport company CSX has completed an agreement that grants it a permanent easement to operate Anacostia Rail Holdings subsidiary Louisville & Indiana Railroad’s (L&I) 106-mile rail corridor between Indianapolis and Louisville.

Apart from CSX’s $10m easement purchase, the companies have also finalised an operating agreement that provides for an additional $90m in infrastructure upgrades over the next several years to improve the track structure and right of way along the freight route.

The joint project was approved by the US Surface Transportation Board in April.

CSX president and chief operating officer Oscar Munoz said: "CSX’s investment of approximately $100m will provide enhanced rail access for the Port of Indiana-Jeffersonville, increase capacity and efficiency along this corridor and improve connectivity to CSX’s broader network.

"We will continue to collaborate with local officials to plan and execute construction activities to minimise disruptions to communities along the corridor."

"These critical infrastructure improvements include the installation of new rail, upgrades to the rail bed structure and bridge improvements to enhance safety and service for customers in the Midwest and provide more efficient rail service throughout the region."

As part of the project, 20 miles of new rail will be installed along the southern portion of the line over the next several months.

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Representatives from both railroads have already started a series of joint meetings with community leaders in order to provide project status updates as well as to address concerns related to public safety, anticipated increases in freight volume and construction plans.

Louisville & Indiana Railroad president John Goldman said: "Since 2011, both L&I and CSX have coordinated with state and local officials to discuss the upgrade of the line to support manufacturers, farmers, marine ports and other contributors to the area’s economic growth.

"As we undertake the first phase of construction, we will continue to collaborate with local officials to plan and execute construction activities to minimise disruptions to communities along the corridor."

The Louisville & Indiana Railroad acquired its 106-mile line from Consolidated Rail Corporation and started operations in 1994.