NJDOT grants more than $20 million for rail projects

Written by Jenifer Nunez, assistant editor

The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT), through its Rail Freight Assistance Program, doled out more than $20 million in grants for rail improvement projects throughout the state.


The grants help support economic activity by preserving and improving the existing freight transportation system and by making freight rail service more widely available for businesses throughout the state.

“The administration is committed to improving and preserving our rail transportation network by providing grants to New Jersey’s freight railroads,” NJDOT Commissioner Jamie Fox said. “The projects funded here will help advance a transportation strategy that strives to increase mobility and efficiency in the movement of goods in support of the State’s economy.”

The projects receiving funding include upgrades and repairs to existing railroad tracks and bridges and expansion projects that will connect or expand existing freight rail lines with new customers.

Salem County will receive $441,199 for the Salem Branch Railroad Chestnut Run Culvert Replacement and $2,965,248 for the Salem County Shortline Running Track Rehabilitation Phase VII project.

New York Susquehanna & Western Railway (NYS&W) will receive $4,321,800 to replace Overpeck Creek Bridge. NYS&W will also receive $32,283,469 to replace jointed rail and Marion Yard Interchange tracks with welded rail.

Winchester & Western will receive $810,225 for south main track rehabilitation and $393,966 for rail replacement on the C&M Branch.

South Jersey Port Corporation will receive $5,000,000 for enhancing rail service to SJPC Marine Terminals.

The Rail Freight Assistance Program, administered by the NJDOT Bureau of Multimodal Grants and Programs, provides funding for capital improvements that result in the continuation of economically viable rail freight services in the state. Grant applications are evaluated on a cost/benefit basis. Factors considered in the selection of the projects include: economic benefits, efficient and responsive freight distribution, energy and environmental factors and highway congestion mitigation. Sponsors, typically the owner of the railroad, also are required to continue freight service on the improved line for at least five years after completion of the project.