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OnTrackAmerica points to new developments in Pennsylvania

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OnTrackAmerica, a non-profit transportation consultancy committed to revitalizing North America's economy and environment by placing railroads at the center of a balanced transportation system said there have been several new developments in its ongoing, multi-faceted agenda.  

In February, OTA began
working with parties interested in the Stewartstown Railroad, a privately owned
five-mile branch line located in York, Pennsylvania. This crucial, yet
out-of-service, transportation link has served York County, one of the
Commonwealth’s thriving manufacturing, industrial and warehouse centers, since
1885. It connects to the larger Northern Central Railroad, a 20-mile line owned
by York County, which is also out of service. Revitalizing the Stewartstown
line will ultimately protect and build upon York’s standing as a source for
employment and economic opportunity. However, resurrecting the line is
completely dependent on the restoration of the Northern Central line. Working
closely with stakeholders, OTA is currently conducting preliminary research to
develop an economic development and environmental policy case for reinstituting
service on these rail lines.

 

Also in Pennsylvania,
OTA is providing consulting services to the Susquehanna Rail Authority and
Bradford County to evaluate the potential for a truck-to-rail transload
facility to serve Marcellus Shale construction and related projects in the
region.

 

Through its model
state freight transportation business plan for improving freight transportation
productivity and efficiency, OnTrackPennsylvania, OTA continues to develop and
implement strategic business plans for freight transportation throughout the
Commonwealth, with the goal of maximizing all transportation modes to
strengthen commerce, attract and keep jobs, preserve the environment and
deliver higher returns on transportation investment. Founder and President
Michael Sussman recently met with the County Planning Directors Association of
Pennsylvania to present OTA’s agenda and indentify ways in which county
planning departments can get involved.

 

At the same time, OTA
continues to develop its Freight Transportation Land Use Strategy throughout
Pennsylvania. Recent developments include meetings with state officials to advance
legislation to be introduced later this year. In March, Sussman will travel to
the United Kingdom, where he will meet with Lord Tony Berkeley, chairman of the
Rail Freight Group and President of the European Rail Freight Association, to
study land use and planning as they pertain to British and European freight
rail transportation.

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