Yesterday, Carload Express Inc. Chief Executive Officer Russell Peterson and Hannibal Real Estate L.L.C. CEO Jeffrey Himmel joined local officials and other dignitaries at a ceremony in Hannibal, Ohio, where the first spike was driven to mark the start of restoration work on a former Omal Railway line.
In December, Carload Express reached an agreement with Hannibal Real Estate to operate the 12.2-mile line between Hannibal and Powhatan Point, Ohio, which the real estate firm acquired in 2007. Carload Express created the Ohio Terminal Railway Co. to operate the line and operations are slated to launch in April. Carload Express — which owns three other short lines — plans to spend about $1.8 million to improve and upgrade the line.
The restored route will mark the return of freight-rail service to Monroe County, according to Jobs Ohio. The county is centrally located in the "wet" gas and oil producing portion of the Marcellus and Utica shales, and the short line helps position the region to better serve the emerging shale gas drilling industry, said Carload Express and other officials in a press release.
The line will connect local manufacturing and shale production companies with Norfolk Southern Railway and its North American network.
The Omal line originally was built by the Pennsylvania Railroad to serve an aluminum plant in Hannibal and later was sold by Conrail to the Ormet Railroad Corp. The route provides rail access to a Hannibal Real Estate-owned industrial park and an adjacent steel rolling mill.
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