DRPT Issues Rail Industrial Access Program GrantWritten by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor, Railway Age
The Ashton Creek Industrial Park LLC in Chesterfield County, Va., will receive a $450,000 Rail Industrial Access Program grant to support construction of a rail spur, to be served by CSX, according to the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT), which administers the program.
The 1,320-foot spur project will grow capacity for 1,365 new annual carloads and create 18 new jobs for tenant Commonwealth Building Materials, DRPT reported late last month. The Commonwealth Transportation Board approved the grant for the project, which is expected to divert nearly 4,700 trucks from Virginia highways each year. The Commonwealth Building Materials location in South Richmond provides drywall, insulation, acoustical tiles and steel framing to builders in the region.
Ashton Creek Industrial Park, as the Rail Industrial Access Program grant recipient, is responsible for a minimum 30% match toward rail costs. It is estimated that track construction price tag will be $850,000 and total capital investment in the facility will be $3.5 million.
The aim of the Rail Industrial Access Program is to promote “truck diversion through grant assistance that connects new or expanding businesses to the freight railroad network,” according to DRPT, which noted that eight grants were awarded in 2022.
“The Rail Industrial Access grant program is an established asset to support Virginia’s economy and businesses,” DRPT Director Jennifer DeBruhl said. “We look forward to seeing the new growth and success of Ashton Creek Industrial Park and Commonwealth Building Materials in Chesterfield County as the rail spur improves the movement of sheetrock and drywall to the facility from North Carolina and Pennsylvania.”
In a related development, the Commonwealth Transportation Board in January approved a $450,000 grant through DRPT’s Rail Industrial Access Program to Hershey Chocolate of Virginia Inc. for construction of a new 4,750-foot rail spur to be served by Norfolk Southern.