PENNDOT: Awards $40 Million In 2019 Freight Rail Grants

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Announced 26 Grant Awards Totaling $40,064,192 for Freight Rail Improvement Projects Throughout the State.

12 December, Harrisburg PA — The awards were made under the state’s 2019 Rail Transportation Assistance Program (RTAP) and the Rail Freight Assistance Program (RFAP). The single largest grant in the 2019 program is a $14.4 million grant to enable double-stack traffic access to the Port of Philadelphia.

Following is a list of 26 approved rail freight projects with the state share:

CSX Transportation — $14.4 million

Lower tracks under nine overhead obstructions to permit routing of double-stack container and multi-level auto rack traffic to/from Port of Philadelphia. Delaware and Philadelphia Counties

RJ Corman Railroad (RJCP) — $3 million

Replace 25 linear miles of rail and 4,800 ties and to construct a 4,000 ft. siding and two turnouts on its Cherry Tree Subdivision to support export of metallurgical coal. Clearfield and Indiana Counties

SEKISUI SPI (NSHR) — $2.7 million

Construct two spur tracks and install unloading equipment at its manufacturing facility. Columbia County

Allegheny Valley Railroad (AVR) — $2.5 million

Repair a bridge located on a route utilized by three railroads in the Allegheny County region. Allegheny County

Arcelor Mittal Plate (ESPN) — $2.2 million

Rehabilitate approximately 2 miles of track, turnouts, and private crossings serving its rolling mill and electric melt shop sites. Chester County

ATI Flat Rolled Products Holdings LLC (NS) — $2 million

Construct approximately 2 miles of new track to increase rail capacity. Allegheny County

Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad Company (BPRR) — $1.9 million

Install new bridge timbers, walkways, and handrails as well as super-elevation correction involving three bridges. Armstrong and Indiana Counties

Strasburg Rail Road Company (SRC) — $1.7 million

Construct less than 1 mile of track by extending interchange track and constructing new bulk, ladder, and lead tracks to more than double current yard capacity. Lancaster County

Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway (W&LE) — $1.1 million

Repair structural and drainage issues in State Tunnel to bring it into a state of good repair. Washington County

Union Tank Car Company (NS) — $1 million

Rehabilitate the transfer table pit retaining walls. Blair County

North Shore Railroad (NSHR) — $813,834

Construct 1,350 ft. of track and install three turnouts to develop a multi-purpose transload site. Northumberland County

Pittsburgh Intermodal Terminals, Inc. (NS) — $700,000

Rehabilitate approximately 1 mile of track in critical operations areas, including replacement of ties and switch timbers, new ballast, and surfacing. Beaver County

TMS International — $700,000

Complete the final phase of a project to rehabilitate and construct approximately .5 miles of track and increase storage capacity. Allegheny County

Freeport Terminals (NS) — $699,999

Construct and rehabilitate less than .5 mile of track and install new transloading equipment to expand capacity at its Allegheny River barge/rail/truck transload site. Armstrong County

United States Steel Corporation (NS/URR) — $689,500

Complete various track upgrades to accommodate increased rail volume from USS’s new hot rolling mill in Braddock, PA. Allegheny County

Standard Steel, LLC (JVRR) — $529,890

Replace a 50 ft. scale to accommodate 60 ft. rail cars and replace two No. 6 turnouts and 900 ft. of track. Mifflin County

Gettysburg & Northern Railroad (GET) — $487,900

Replace 2,600 ties over 24 miles of railroad and install 0.60 miles of new rail on five key curves. Adams County

Union Railroad Company (URR) — $457,450

Construct approximately 0.30 miles of new track and one new turnout on URR’s East Pittsburgh viaduct serving USS’s new hot rolling mill. Allegheny County

Lehigh Valley Rail Management (LVRM) — $456,269

Replace 3,515 ties and 218 bridge timbers and surface approximately 3 miles of track to increase storage capacity for rail-truck transload. Northampton County

Pittsburgh & Ohio Central Railroad (POHC) — $399,105

Replace deteriorated open deck bridge timbers on the McKees Rocks Bridge. Allegheny County

Redevelopment Authority of Luzerne County — $311,500

Replace 1,500 ties, surface 5 miles of track, and rehabilitate a culvert. Luzerne County

Linde Corporation — $297,528

Rehabilitate approximately 0.5 mile of rail infrastructure and address drainage issues to support growth of rail-truck transload terminal. Lackawanna County

Gautier Steel — $289,343

Complete the final phase of rehabilitation project that will rebuild approximately 1.5 miles of track, resulting in more efficient rail operations and better access within the plant. Cambria County

National Lime and Stone — $249,900

Construct 1,600 of track for rail-truck transload facility for the distribution of crushed stone. Washington County

Blue Ridge Wood Products, LLC — $249,420

Rehabilitate 700 ft. of existing track to improve the efficiency of its inbound railcar unloading operations. Bucks County

Everett Railroad (EVRR) — $232,554

Upgrade 3 miles track to facilitate service to a new cement transload terminal. Blair County

PennDOT freight rail grant program details

The RFAP The Rail Freight Assistance Program (RFAP) provides financial assistance for investment in rail freight infrastructure. The intent of the program is to:

  1. preserve essential rail freight service where economically feasible, and
  2. preserve or stimulate economic development through the generation of new or expanded rail freight service.

The maximum state funding for a RFAP project is 70 percent of the total project costs, not to exceed $700,000.

The Rail Transportation Assistance Program (RTAP), also known as Capital Budget, is available to applicants with a line item(s) in a Capital Budget Act. The maximum state funding for a RTAP project is 70 percent of the total project costs, not to exceed the amount of the line item.

Pennsylvania has 65 operating railroads which is more than any other state in the country. PennDOT’s focus remains 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.

In the 2018 grant period, PennDOT awarded $23 million for 27 rail freight projects. In the 2017 $23 million was awarded for 27 rail freight projects. In 2016 $40 million was awarded for 34 projects.