Deal with port authority is a long-term win for New England Central Railroad Inc.

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
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The deal with New England Central Railroad should help the short-liner with casting a larger net in terms of rail commerce.
Mohawk Northeast Inc.

In a “I’ll-scratch-your-back-if-you-scratch-mine” deal, New England Central Railroad Inc. is going to be able to address an itch that has been there for a long time.

The Connecticut Port Authority will be leasing a five-acre section of railroad property owned by New England Central Railroad Inc., a subsidiary of Genesee & Wyoming Inc., to be able to accommodate a wind turbine business. In return, the port authority will help advance a proposed pier facility by Mohawk Northeast Inc. on the Thames River. The move should help increase rail commerce throughout the New England region.

Mohawk purchased three acres of land for the pier facility, which straddles the rail line, and is in the early stages of the permitting process.

Genesee & Wyoming spokesperson Michael Williams says components for marine construction such as large quarry stone, steel pile and other commodities will all be potentials to ship by rail to and from New London through Mohawk Northeast.

The state of Massachusetts also is in the process of upgrading rail lines, which will allow the railroad to handle modern, fully loaded freight cars from the Port of New London to the Canadian border and to other parts of the U.S.

U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney said in a statement, “When eastern Connecticut made the successful case in 2014 to the U.S. Department of Transportation to modernize the NECR [New England Central Railroad Inc.], access to the Port was an essential component of the plan.”

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