Monday, June 17, 2019

Multi-Million Dollar Investment in Rail Freight Infrastructure in Ohio

Grants Support Short Line Railroad Improvements
Shipping News Feature
US – In US rail freight news the US Department of Transportation's Federal Railroad Administration has awarded a Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) Grant to the Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC) in the amount of $3,284,000. The money, together with other funds, will be used to rehabilitate the Port Delta Yard and construct mainline siding capacity in Delta, Ohio with new turnouts (points) for the Indiana & Ohio Railway Company (IORY) a short line freight railroad subsidiary of Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (G&W).

The new funds will be supplemented by $3,584,000 from IORY and a $300,000 grant from ORDC. The project involves the installation of approximately 14,000 rail ties, 25,000 feet of new rail, 43,000 tonnes of ballast, plus those 11 turnouts. Centred around Delta, Ohio are several steel manufacturing and processing businesses that provide products for US industries including automotive, construction, agriculture and general manufacturing applications. Matthew Dietrich, Executive Director of the ORDC, said:

“Ohio is the second largest steel-producing state in the nation, and the industry is significant to the economy of Northwest Ohio. The Ohio Rail Development Commission is grateful that the Federal Railroad Administration recognized the value of this work to the regional economy. The project will rehabilitate and repurpose rail infrastructure to serve the current and emerging industries in Northwest Ohio.”

The latest project was supported by US Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao who said the investment will benefit surrounding communities, relevant as it is to freight and passengers alike. It would make grade crossings safer and improve service reliability, and IORY President Martin Pohlod expanded on this, saying:

“This $7.2-million joint investment by the FRA, IORY and ORDC will greatly improve the available Port Delta Yard capacity for the safe and efficient handling of its growing customer business in Delta. New rail, ties and ballast will restore the entire yard to service and go a long way to accommodating anticipated growth in Delta and Fulton County rail-based industry and processors.

“Furthermore, the additional mainline siding will enhance fluidity of our line of road, terminal and customer switching operations, and the improved Port Delta terminal also will allow more efficient and timely service for traffic moving via the northern portion of the IORY to the Canadian National interchange in Flat Rock, Michigan.

”The Indiana & Ohio Railway Company looks forward to making these improvements, which will make it more effective in earning the transportation business of its present and future customers, and we thank the ORDC, FRA and our customers for their support in seeking and now implementing this proactive, forward-looking investment in railroad service.”

Photo: Copyright Doug Kroll.