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Friday, December 11, 2009

Pennsylvania to make $24.5-million rail investment

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Thirty-nine freight rail companies and users can make upgrades and expand capacity with a $24.5-million state investment from PennDOT's Rail Freight Capital Budget/Transportation Assistance and Rail Freight Assistance Programs, Governor Edward G. Rendell said.

"Upgrading and expanding our freight rail lines helps maintain service and also opens the door to greater business opportunities," Governor Rendell said. "These investments will help meet growing demand for freight rail service and also help ease highway congestion by reducing the number of trucks on our roadways."

The state will invest $15 million from the capital budget program and an additional $9.5 million from the Rail Freight Assistance Program. The capital budget program is funded through state capital bond dollars repaid through General Fund revenues. The Rail Freight Assistance Program is provided through the state's General Fund. The grants, which are authorized by the General Assembly, are administered by PennDOT's Bureau of Rail Freight.

Larger grants include:
  • • Pittsburgh and Ohio Central Railroad -- $1.4 million to enhance yard capacity and efficiency with improvements including tie, track and turnout replacement or installation.
  • • USS Real Estate Div. of USSC -- $1.3 million for phase two of track improvements for Mon Valley Works, including switch replacement and associated track work.
  • • Elk County: Buffalo Pittsburgh Railroad, Inc. -- $1.7 million to construct a siding and reactivate a bridge over the Clarion River to connect to another railroad.
  • • Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway, Co. -- $1 million to rehabilitate concrete pedestal at 40 locations, replace bridge deck timbers, install bridge approach ties, and bridge approach track improvements.
  • • NS Dillerville Yard -- $3 million to remodel part of the yard, including track, utilities and structural work.
  • • Stourbridge Railroad -- $3.2 million to rehabilitate 23 miles of track, including bridge rehabilitation, to bring line up to operating standards.

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