HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — More than $5 million was approved for rail freight improvement projects in the Central Pennsylvania region as part of a larger $33 million across the commonwealth.
Pennsylvania has 65 operating railroads, which is more than any other state. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is committed to working with private rail operators and rail-served businesses to construct new rail lines and assist in maintaining and improving Pennsylvania’s roughly 5,600 miles of freight lines.
The money will support 25 rail freight improvement projects that will enhance freight mobility while creating or sustaining more than 200 jobs across Pennsylvania.
“Keeping goods moving efficiently has proven to be more important now than ever,” said Governor Wolf. “These investments in Pennsylvania’s rail system create jobs, support efficient freight travel and help keep the business community connected to the global economy.”
The State Transportation Commission voted to approve the $33 million for the following projects through the Rail Transportation Assistance Program (RTAP) and the Rail Freight Assistance Program (RFAP).
Following is a list of the 25 approved rail freight projects with the state share:
Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Clearfield, Elk, Indiana, Jefferson, Lawrence, and McKean Counties:
- Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad: $1.8 million to replace approximately 5.5 miles of worn rail on curves to improve rail conditions and safety.
Allegheny and Washington Counties:
- Pittsburgh and Ohio Central Railroad: $693,000 to rehabilitate two at-grade rail crossings, replace a turnout, and repair the Greer Tunnel.
- Redevelopment Authority of Berks County: $1.4 million to replace approximately 1,600 feet of track and construct a ½-mile siding to the Boyertown Foundry including rehabilitation of the 4th Ave bridge.
- Everett Railroad: $309,000 to rehabilitate three bridges with new deck ties and pier repairs; and
- McCabe Group: $87,000 to replace ties and rail on their siding and rehabilitate a small rail bridge.
- RJ Corman Railroad, Lehigh Line: $700,000 to replace approximately 5,000 ties and rehabilitate an at-grade crossing.
- Bucks County Railroad Preservation & Restoration Corporation: $490,000 to install four turnouts, replace approximately 800 feet of rail and ties, and construct 800 feet of new track.
Cambria and Clearfield Counties:
- RJ Corman Railroad: $3 million to improve the Cresson Subdivision and Clearfield Yard with spot tie and rail replacement and rehabilitate five at-grade crossings.
- SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority: $1.5 million to rehabilitate nine railroad bridges.
- East Penn Railroad: $700,000 to rehabilitate the Octoraro Branch by replacing approximately 7,000 ties, 1,100 feet of rail, and three mainline switches, as well as 10 miles of surfacing; and
- International Paper Company: $371,000 to construct approximately 500 feet of new track to their plant and rehabilitate 1,200 feet of track with new ties and ballast.
Fayette and Westmoreland Counties:
- Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway: $9 million to replace approximately 19 miles of rail, improving the track from jointed rail to continuous welded rail
- Smart Sand: $565,000 to construct a new turnout and replace four mobile conveyors.
- Delaware-Lackawanna Railroad: $699,000 to replace six turnouts on Bridge 60 on the Strawberry Hill rail line.
Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties:
- Redevelopment Authority of Luzerne County: $511,000 to replace approximately 4,000 ties and one switch.
- Reist Popcorn Company: $178,000 to rehabilitate and extend their rail siding and construct an unloading pit with conveyor.
- Bulkmatic LLC: $166,000 to rehabilitate their yard tracks and extend their siding by 150 feet.
- Mifflin County Industrial Development Corporation – $157,000 to rehabilitate approximately 600 feet of track within the industrial park.
- Standard Steel – $700,000 to build ¼-mile of new track with a turnout and replace ¼-mile of track and two turnouts.
- CSX Transportation: $6 million to rehabilitate their railroad bridge over Washington Avenue and remove an inactive spur bridge along the 25th Street Viaduct, increasing safety and improving access.
- Corsa Coal Corporation: $349,000 to rehabilitate 10 miles of track at its Cambria Plant, including repairs to the loop track and runaround track.
- Central New York Railroad: $2.3 million to rehabilitate the nine-span 1930 Lanesboro Bridge, improving safety for freight trains as well as vehicles and pedestrians beneath the bridge.
- Oil Creek Titusville Lines: $112,000 to rehabilitate approximately 10 miles of track with spot tie replacements and 1,000 tons of ballast.
- Western New York and Pennsylvania Railroad: $1.1 million to rehabilitate approximately 11.5 miles of track between Lottsville and East Columbus.
- Procter & Gamble Paper Products: $146,000 to rehabilitate its yard tracks with approximately 1,000 feet of 136-pound rail, ties, and surfacing.
For more information on PennDOT rail grant programs visit the department’s Rail Freight and Ports page.