Photo courtesy of Larry Byers

The construction of a second main track on the BNSF Railway route between Bonita, north of Spring Hill, and a point, 1 mile south of Hillsdale, will be completed in just a few more weeks, eliminating a longtime train bottleneck on this segment of railroad between Kansas City, Kan., and Paola. Actual work on the multi-million dollar project began early last summer. Slightly more than 10 miles of earthen track bed had to be constructed by heavy earth-moving equipment before any track was put down. Two large bridges were also constructed. This picture shows five excavators lifting a 230-foot long pre-built track turnout panel into place on Thursday, March 17, just north of 207th Street in Spring Hill. This rail line handles trains that operate between Kansas City and southeastern states, and also trains moving in and out of Oklahoma and Texas.