Governor Edward G. Rendell announced the investment of $10.2 million in rail freight infrastructure in an effort to help create and maintain jobs at expanding businesses throughout the commonwealth. The 38 grants are part of PennDOT’s rail freight assistance program.
“Rail freight provides a dependable and efficient method for moving goods around Pennsylvania and provides an important link to the global marketplace,” Governor Rendell said. “This investment will help stimulate economic development, while also preserving and improving the commonwealth’s rail system.”
Two Beaver County projects that received grants show how the program helps to preserve existing rail service and ensures the retention of industries and jobs in the community. Aliquippa and Ohio Railroad will use its $357,000 grant to rehabilitate the seven-mile railroad on the former LTV Steel site outside Aliquippa to provide service to existing and new customers who are experiencing increased cargo volume. One of these new customers is Wolfpac Technologies, a manufacturer of extruded plastic products, which is receiving a grant of $82,527 to rehabilitate a rail siding to service its new facility.
In addition to grants that preserve existing service, many grants help establish new or expand existing rail freight service. In Huntingdon County, for example, New Enterprise Stone and Lime will receive $537,000 to reestablish rail service and expand rail infrastructure to increase aggregate shipments from its Union Furnace Quarry.
Another grant recipient is Kinder Morgan, the operator of the port at the Keystone Industrial Port Complex along the Delaware River in Bucks County. A $700,000 grant will be used to replace and repair existing track and for the relocation and new construction of an outbound train loading yard. The upgrades will ease the movement of cargo from ships to freight rail cars.
This is the third consecutive year the state-funded rail freight assistance program awarded at least $10 million. Pennsylvania ranks fifth in the nation with more than 6,000 rail miles; and more than 7,000 Pennsylvanians are employed by freight railroads.
The Rendell administration is committed to creating a first-rate public education system, protecting our most vulnerable citizens and continuing economic investment to support our communities and businesses.
A list of the projects receiving grants:
- Azcon Corp. will receive $210,800 for the rehabilitation of yard track for a steel scrap processing facility along the AVR Allegheny Branch.
- McConway & Torley LLC will receive $125,799 for the rehabilitation of existing track and construction of a new rail siding at a steel castings facility along the AVR Allegheny Branch.
- The Techs Industries Inc. will receive $250,000 for construction of a new siding at Metal Tech facility and spur track at Nex Tech facility to better facilitate rail transportation of finished metal products.
- Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway Co. will receive $194,750 for replacement of crossties and bridge timbers along Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway’s Pittsburgh Subdivision.
- Aliquippa and Ohio River Railroad will receive $357,000 for rehabilitation of mainline track and rail bridge deck replacement.
- Colona Transfer LP will receive $327,750 for rehabilitation of yard track at its rail/barge transfer facility serviced by CSX.
- Wolfpac Technologies will receive $82,527 for rehabilitation of an old rail siding to service an extruded plastic manufacturing facility relocating to the area to be serviced by the Aliquippa and Ohio River Railroad.
- Blair County Development Corp. will receive $250,000 for track rehabilitation at the former Hollidaysburg Car Shop facility to serve a wind energy component supplier to be serviced by Norfolk Southern Railroad.
- Junell Corp., doing business as Advanced Lubrication Specialties, wi