Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell announced yesterday that a $32.5 million state investment will be made for 38 rail projects in 28 counties. At a press conference held in York, Pennsylvania, Rendell explained that the freight investment would “upgrade and add capacity, stimulate local economies and provide as many as 2,500 jobs.” The governor also elaborated on the other benefits the state is expected to reap from the infusion of funds:
Transportation investment equals jobs. The rail freight projects being funded across the state…will help companies create good-paying jobs and inject billions into local economies. These grants are excellent examples of how public-private partnerships can benefit businesses, workers and communities.
Funding for these projects is set to come from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s (PennDOT) 2010-2011 Rail Capital Budget/Transportation Assistance Program and the 2011-2012 Rail Freight Assistance Program. The majority of the funding will come from the former, which is funded through state capital bond dollars, and the remainder will come from the latter, which is funded through the state’s General Fund. Both grant programs are organized by PennDOT’s Bureau of Rail Freight.
Local service providers around the state are thrilled with what these funds mean for their communities. “Lycoming County welcomes the news,” says Mark Murawski, chief county transportation planner. Murawsi went on to say that he was, “pleased the money would go toward projects to help ease the traffic burdens” associated with the demands of the booming Marcellus Shale industry in the region.
Projects that will receive funding include:
Rail Freight Capital Budget/Transportation Assistance Program Recipients:
- Allegheny Valley Railroad — $1.8 million for phase two in its Glenwood Yard, including track reconstruction, switching control installation, and rail and crosstie replacement on two bridge decks.
- Hussey Copper — $324,800 to reconstruct track, install a turnout and reconstruct a grade crossing.
- United States Steel Mon Valley Works — $3.8 million for phase three of the Clairton Project, including switch replacement and associated track work.
- Butler County
- Buffalo and Pittsburgh Railroad Inc. — $3 million to upgrade and rebuild wood trestles, replace mud sills with pilings and improve bridge deck beams to provide 263,000 lb. freight car capacity.
Carbon, Luzerne counties
- Air Products and Chemicals Inc. — $1.8 million to replace railroad ties, crossings, a bridge and tunnel lining, raise track and relocate obstructions.
Centre, Lycoming and Northumberland counties
- SEDA-COG — $3.9 million for facility and track construction in five locations to meet Marcellus Shale expansion demands.
- Fay-Penn Industrial — $1 million to rehabilitate and reconstruct track to serve a planned rail-truck transloading facility.
- Strasburg Railroad — $1 million for track construction and rehabilitation, rail bridge rehabilitation and expanded transferring capabilities.
- Allentown Economic Development Corporation — $1.4 million to restore Barber’s Quarry branch rail corridor to service, reconnect the R.J. Corman rail line to serve more than 80 acres of industrially zoned land.
- Keystone Filler — $279,972 to add track to increase car storage by 120 percent and also add a switch for efficient exchanges and a new rail pit for railcar unloading.
- American Refining Group Inc. – $1.4 million to rebuild track, switches, and loading racks.
Monroe, Northampton counties
- Pennsylvania Northeast Regional Railroad Authority — $1.3 million to acquire remaining mainline track to allow for the growth of existing and new rail traffic for the Marcellus Shale industry, as well as remove salt and corrosion on bridge downspouts and a rail bridge.
- Scot Lubricants of PA — $352,800 to construct three new spurs to increase capacity.
- Wellsboro & Corning Railway Co. — $700,000 to reconstruct track and turnouts, install crossties, surface track improvements and for project engineering.
- Church & Dwight Company Inc. — $1.5 million to construct three rail sidings and spill containment basins as part of their new factory’s rail access project.
- York Railway — $308,000 to upgrade tracks, realign side track and replace two road crossings on the railroad’s main line.
Rail Freight Assistance Program Recipients:
- Green Mountain Industrial Village Inc. — $168,000 to improve an existing track bed, reconstruct track and establish a main line switch connection for the sidetrack.
- Leetsdale Industrial – $386,908 for Phase II of Industrial Park improvements including reconstruction of track and critical repairs to rail infrastructure in the park.
Armstrong, Luzerne, Tioga and Warren counties
- D & I Silica — $700,000 to improve existing rail to facilitate transloading and construct new track to accommodate growing demand from the Marcellus Shale industry.
- Colona Transfer LP – $286,860 to rehabilitate the Colona lead track between the Aliquippa Yard and the Colona Yard.
- F. M. Brown’s Sons Inc. — $493,460 to construct an unloading facility, install a turnout, rehabilitate track and project engineering.
- Redevelopment Authority of the County of Berks – $249,999 to construct four side tracks for commodity transloading.
- Glenn O. Hawbaker Inc. — $700,000 to construct a new rail transloading facility, rehabilitate the main line and construct track for additional transloading.
- Arcelor Mittal Plate LLC — $178,150 to reconstruct track and install two new turnouts.
- Air Liquide Industrial U.S. LP — $249,999 to install a turnout off of the RJ Corman main line and construct new track for a transload facility.
- The Clearfield Foundation — $591,879 to install unloading tracks for asphalt, install new track and relocate existing lead track.
- South Avis Realty – $528,539 to improve crossties and switch ties, construct new track and install three turnouts to facilitate increased storage and efficiency.
- Erie Western PA Port Authority — $492,116 to extend a siding from an existing switch to allow rail car access to an operation area.
- National Lime and Stone Co. — $250,000 to construct new track and install a portable unloading pit, conveyors and a truck scale with a ticket booth.
- Lundy Industrial Realty LP – $478,538 to reconstruct track and construct a pit, fixed stacker and conveyor unloading system in the Lundy Warehousing Facility.
- Western New York & Pennsylvania Railroad — $378,350 to install new crossties, reconstruct rail through three grade crossings and realign a curve to facilitate higher track speed.
- Standard Steel LLC — $245,350 to replace three turnouts and track.
- West Shore Railroad Corp. — $301,000 to rehabilitate a railroad bridge, including new ties and deck installation.
- Philadelphia Regional Port Authority – $420,000 to rehabilitate Tioga Marine Terminal rail infrastructure including removing pavement and replacing ties, install new track and new rail crossings.
- Franklin Rail Maintenance and Construction Project — $490,000 to construct two loading docks and three turnouts; construct new track and a new scale; and repair existing track.
- BVK Inc. — $310,823 to reconstruct side track and construct two additional side tracks for additional rail car usage.
- Whirley Industries — $30,389 for drainage improvements, rail crossing and tie replacements, and to raise, line and surface Whirley’s entire rail line.
- Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corp. — $700,000 to raise, align, surface and undercut new rail ballast.