Ohio Rail Development Commission Awards Grants to OHCR, Metalico, Inc.

Written by Jennifer McLawhorn, Managing Editor
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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Rail Development Commission approved grants for both the Ohio Central Railroad and for Metalico, Inc. for rail maintenance and improvements.

Ohio Central Railroad

Matched by the Ohio Central Railroad, the Ohio Rail Development Commission approved a $502,775 grant to the Genesee & Wyoming company to “assist with the replacement of rail between Brewster and Beach City in Stark County. According to the Ohio Rail Development Commission, the total cost of the project is $1,005,551 and will replace 90 lb. jointed rail with a heavier, continuously welded 115 lb. rail. 

In Brewster, the Ohio Central Railroad “interchanges traffic with the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway” and “connects with RJ Corman’s Cleveland Line just south of Brewster.” In order to interchange with Wheeling & Lake Erie, RJ Corman “must traverse the OHCR track to be improved by this project.”

Executive Director of the Rail Commission, Matthew Dietrich, stated that with the grants, the project “is an excellent example of how the Rail Commission can help smaller railroads in the state improve reliability and safety by modernizing the rail infrastructure.”

Additionally, AVP of Government Affairs at Genesee & Wyoming stated that the project “will enhance and continue investments being made on this rail corridor by the Ohio Central Railroad.”

Metalico, Inc.

The Ohio Rail Development Commission also awarded two grants to Metalico, Inc. totaling $101,289 for two projects, one in Akron and one in Youngstown. Metalico has four locations in Ohio, and its operations include recycling “scrap iron, scrap steel, non-ferrous metals, and purchasing catalytic converters and recovering platinum group metals.”

In Metalico’s Akron facility, crews will repair a private grade crossing. The project in Akron will address an internal plant at-grade crossing that is “used to access the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway’s system.” Moreover, project work will include joint tightening, tamping, and gauging of the line. While the Rail Commission has granted $50,640 toward the project, the total cost is estimated to be $67,520.

Meanwhile, in Youngstown, the facility will “install a switch point derail” and replace “an older split rail derail, also to improve safety.” Similar to Akron, the project work includes correcting gauge, tamping 6,000 feet of rail, and tightening bolts.

Regional Environmental, Health & Safety Supervisor for Metalico, Jim Smith, commented the importance of “access and usability,” and that “grant funding assistance through the Rail Commission is a huge help to improve safety and continue using rail at our facilities.”

The Ohio Rail Development Commission reports the total for both projects is $168,818, with $67,529 coming from Metalico.

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