A series of railroad-track improvements will create more than a thousand jobs in the Philadelphia region, Gov. Rendell, Mayor Nutter and CSX officials said yesterday.

The improvements, which involve lowering tracks so that trains can pull double-stacked freight containers under bridges and overpasses, will "vastly improve the corridor," said CSX spokesman Wes Irvin.

"The project will shave five hours off of transit time, which will improve efficiency, ease highway congestion, and improve our rail connection to the Midwest," Rendell said in a news release.

The improvements will address 16 bridges to allow double-stack trains on 25 miles of existing track near Hunting Park Avenue in North Philadelphia. The route extends to near Wayne Junction, through Olney, and then into the Northeast, said Bill Goetz, a CSX vice president. Trains now run through Montgomery and Bucks counties on a route that accommodates fewer trains and has lower capacity.

The project, which will take three years to complete, is expected to create 350 direct construction and railroad jobs, Goetz said, and 900 indirect jobs.

The project will cost about $32 million - $12 million of which will be paid by CSX, $10 million from the state, and another $10 million from the federal government.