Watco launches first phase of GeoConnect. Also, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announces $26 million for 24 rail freight improvement projects through the Rail Transportation Assistance Program (RTAP) and the Rail Freight Assistance Program (RFAP).
Watco announced Dec. 14 via a Twitter post that it has launched the first phase of GeoConnect, a web-based customer resource to find railcar storage using maps and filers. Additional phases will be coming soon.
Separately, PennDOT announced Dec. 14 that the Pennsylvania State Transportation Commission has voted to approve $26 million for 24 rail freight improvement projects through RTAP and RFAP, which will “enhance freight mobility while crating or sustaining more than 340 jobs across Pennsylvania.”
“These investments in Pennsylvani’s rail system create jobs, support efficient freight travel and help keep the business community connected to the global economy,” said Gov. Tom Wolf.
Pennsylvania has 65 operating railroads–more than any other state, says PennDOT, which adds that it is “committed to working with private rail operators and rail-served businesses to construct new rail lines and assist in maintaining and improving Pennsylvania’s roughly 5,600 miles of freight lines.
The following is a list of the 24 approved rail freight projects:
- Allegheny Raw Materials: $1.1 million to reconstruct a rail siding with a rail scale to serve a metal recycling facility; and
- Allegheny Valley Railroad: $1.6 million to construct new track to an engine house and rehabilitate tracks in Glenwood Yard; and
- Mulach Steel, d/b/a Chapman Properties: $728,000 to rehabilitate multiple areas of track within the Leetsdale Industrial Park.
Allegheny and Washington Counties:
- Pittsburgh and Ohio Central Railroad: $700,000 to rehabilitate approximately 4.5 miles of track by replacing rails and ties and track surfacing.
- Refined Plastics: $554,000 to rehabilitate approximately 2,000 feet of track and construct 500 feet of track to a transload facility.
- R.J. Corman Railroad- Lehigh Line: $690,000 to rehabilitate over 2 miles of track with tie replacement, switch replacement, and track surfacing; and
- Shale Rail: $613,000 to rehabilitate approximately 2,000 feet of track with tie replacement, rail replacement, and track surfacing.
Cambria, Clearfield, and Clinton Counties:
- RJ Corman Railroad: $3 million to rehabilitate approximately 24 miles of track with tie replacement and track surfacing.
- Western New York & Pennsylvania Railroad: $1.4 million to rehabilitate approximately 23 miles of track with tie replacement and track surfacing.
- SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority: $955,000 to rehabilitate track and re-align wye near Bellefonte Yard and replace a switch on the main line.
- Cleveland-Cliffs Plate: $1.4 million to rehabilitate yard tracks and turnouts at the Melt Shop facility.
Clearfield, Elk, Jefferson, and McKean Counties:
- Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad: $2.6 million to rehabilitate approximately 20 miles of track with new ties and upgrade radio control switches.
- Pine Creek Seed Holdings: $1.9 million to construct approximately a 1,000 foot siding to provide new rail access; and
- South Avis Realty: $559,000 to rehabilitate yard tracks and raise a section of track to improve transloading.
- IRG Erie: $509,000 to construct a rail siding to a new plastic recycling plant; and
- West Erie Short Line: $270,000 to rehabilitate approximately 1 mile of track including tie replacement and drainage improvements.
- Franklin Storage: $1.3 million to construct a 1,100-foot siding and unloading equipment to expand rail capacity.
Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties:
- Redevelopment Authority of Luzerne County: $524,000 to rehabilitate approximately 2.5 miles of track by replacing ties, replacing a switch, and improving a grade crossing.
Lackawanna and Monroe Counties:
- Delaware-Lackawanna Railroad: $1.1 million to rehabilitate 3 bridges and a culvert on the Carbondale line.
- Kasgro Rail Corporation: $172,000 to construct a section of track to connect adjacent tracks.
- Penn Recycling: $202,000 to rehabilitate a rail siding and extend it by 300 feet to improve rail car capacity.
- Integrity Commercial Investments: $119,000 to rehabilitate and re-align tracks to improve rail and truck access.
- Country View Family Farms: $3 million to construct a 110-car capacity loop track and unloading equipment to provide new rail service to the feed mill.
- York Railway: $1.3 million to rehabilitate tracks in the Lincoln Yard including 250 feet of new connecting track.