HARRISBURG – A $23 million state investment will fund 16 freight-rail improvement projects statewide, said Gov. Tom Corbett.
“Pennsylvania has a robust freight rail system that helps connect communities and businesses with wider transportation options,” Governor Corbett said. “These investments will help businesses expand and improve their operations, paying dividends through economic activity.”
The grants are distributed through the Capital Budget/Transportation Assistance Program, which is funded through state capital bond dollars in the General Fund budget. The grants leverage $10 million in local investments. Authorized by the General Assembly, the grants are administered by PennDOT’s Bureau of Rail Freight, Ports and Waterways.
The grants were approved today by the State Transportation Commission. The 15-member commission includes the Transportation Secretary, 10 private citizens appointed by the governor, and the majority and minority chairs of the state Senate and House Transportation Committees.
Editor’s Note: Following is a by-county list of rail improvement grant recipients, the amount of funding, and a brief description of the projects:
Allegheny County: Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway, Co. — $1.6 million to rehabilitate and expand track, prepare for a transload area, and install new turnouts, track and ties.
Beaver County: Aliquippa Ohio River Railroad — $490,000 to rehabilitate track, install new turnouts, crossties and make other track improvements.
Cambria, Clearfield & Indiana counties — RJ Corman Railroad Group PA Lines — $3 million to rehabilitate the Wallaceton, Cresson and Cherry Tree subdivisions as well as other track sections, complete other track work such as tie and switch installation.
Chester County: East Penn Railroad LLC — $560,000 to rehabilitate track and a railroad bridge, install new ties, resurface track, install new bridge timbers and rehabilitate three grade crossings.
Crawford County: Economic Progress Alliance of Crawford County — $2 million for the first phase of new track construction, including site excavation, grading and stormwater management facilities.
Elk County: St. Marys Industrial Railroad — $2 million to acquire land and right-of-way, and construct and rehabilitate track for the railroad’s first phase of expansion efforts.
Fayette County: Fay-Penn Industrial — $1.5 million for the second phase of track construction for the rail/truck transload facility in Smithfield.
Franklin County: Franklin Storage, LP — $600,000 to construct new track, a turnout and install an asphalt loading pad.
Huntingdon County: East Broad Top — $2 million for phase one of a project to provide for the acquisition of land and right-of-way, rehabilitation of existing track, construction of new track and construction of a transload facility.
Luzerne County: Pittston Industrial LLC DBA Interstate Distribution Center — $700,000 to construct and rehabilitate track for expanded rail access at the center.
Luzerne, Susquehanna & Wyoming counties: Delaware & Hudson Railway Co. — $3 million to construct and rehabilitate track related to infrastructure development.
Lycoming County: Keystone Filler — $279,972 to construct new track and install a rail pit to increase efficiency in the unloading of railcars.
Mercer County: Duferco Farrell Corporation — $700,000 to rehabilitate track, reconstruct turnouts, replace crossties, raise the line and resurface track.
Pike County: Central New York Railroad — $3 million to rehabilitate track and a rail bridge, including steel repairs and replacing bridge timber, as well as realigning track on both ends of the bridge.
Tioga County: Wellsboro & Corning Railway Co. — $700,000 to rehabilitate track, install erosion and sedimentation control, and complete other track improvements.
Westmoreland County: Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corporation — $1.1 million to complete the second phase of a project, including bridge work, new track installation, a new switch and implementing drainage improvements on the line.