Canadian National Railway

CN Steelton Hill Double Track

Duluth, MN

The Canadian National Railway needed to improve both the horizontal and vertical track alignment to add train capacity and increase train fluidity at the Steelton Hill Double Track in Duluth, MN. CN retained Benesch for project management and design of this five-mile, three-phase construction project.

The project is centered on the CN core route between Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, and Chicago, IL. It aimed to construct the Steelton Hill track from a single to double track in order to help alleviate train stalling from the track profile up Steelton Hill, as well as to relieve the pinch point issues along the route. In addition, Benesch managed the replacement of two recreational bridges and designed two new bridges over 108th Street and Commonwealth Avenue.

The size of the project required environmental permitting and property acquisition as well. Therefore, the project was broken down into three phases in order to expedite construction as the property and environmental permits were secured. Additional work included hydraulic analysis, geotechnical investigation, survey and cost estimates.

Project highlights

  • New mainline track alignment to reduce track profile up Steelton Hill
  • Phased construction approach to expedite construction as property and environmental permits were secured
  • Two recreational trail bridges replaced (Munger Trail & Mission Creek Trail)
  • Pier protection for Becks Road overpass