Louisiana, Ohio Short Lines Receiving Infrastructure Investment Boost

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
New Orleans & Gulf Coast, Railway Age’s 2016 Short Line Railroad of the Year, will use an $8.2 million grant from the U.S. DOT for rehabilitation projects along its 32-mile line.

New Orleans & Gulf Coast, Railway Age’s 2016 Short Line Railroad of the Year, will use an $8.2 million grant from the U.S. DOT for rehabilitation projects along its 32-mile line.

The New Orleans & Gulf Coast Railway (NOGC)—Railway Age’s 2016 Short Line Railroad of the Year—and Napoleon, Defiance & Western Railway Co. (NDW) will be performing line upgrades with grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s 2020 Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) Program.

NOGC’s $8.2 million grant, combined with matching funds from parent company Rio Grande Pacific Corp., will go toward rehabilitating two moveable, vertical-lift bridges over the Intercoastal Waterway and Harvey Canal; replacing embedded rail along a road in Gretna, La.; and making various infrastructure upgrades across the 32-mile line. Additionally, grant funds will help provide first responder training for local, parish and federal agencies.

The Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC) has been awarded a $4.1 million grant for the Napoleon, Defiance & Western Critical Safety Upgrade project, which will replace 10 miles of rail and replace 29,000 ties along the 29-mile NDW, a Pioneer Railcorp subsidiary. The grant is expected to fund 50% of the project, with 47% matched by NDW ($3.86 million) and 3% matched by ORDC ($250,000).

BRX Transportation Holdings acquired Pioneer in 2019. Since that time, Pioneer, NDW and ORDC have worked to improve tie condition and line safety and efficiency. According to Pioneer, “the line remains in need of substantial investment to provide the service necessary to grow traffic and attract new industry.”

For more award details under the 2020 CRISI Program, click here.

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