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Rail News: Maintenance Of Way

Ohio rail commission signs off on five rail projects


Yesterday, the Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC) approved a plan to administer $800,000 on behalf of the Ohio Department of Transportation for a new connection to three railroads from the Iron Highway Industrial Park in Leipsic. The park is served by CSX Transportation, Norfolk Southern Railway and the Indiana & Ohio Railroad.
The commission also approved a project calling for the rehabilitation of 3.5 miles of track on R.J. Corman Railroad Group’s Wooster Branch line. R.J. Corman officials are working with local economic development representatives on ways to generate more business on the branch, which serves six rail shippers. The track rehabilitation will aid that effort by fostering safer, more reliable rail service, as well as diverting 2,516 trucks from local highways annually and saving local shippers more than $274,000, according to the ORDC.
In addition, the commission approved a plan to rehabilitate 13 miles of the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway Co.’s Sandy Line by installing ties. The line’s major shipper, American Refining, ships carloads of oil on the line and the track upgrade will enable more carloads of oil to be transported on the route, as well as enhance safety and divert 6,780 trucks from local highways annually, ORDC officials said in a prepared statement.
Moreover, commissioners agreed to extend a lease on the state-owned Glass Rock Line between Avondale and Glass Rock, which has been abandoned for more than 10 years. The lease extension will provide a proposed tourist railroad, the Zanesville & Western, more time to complete planned track and safety repairs, and clear brush on the line. The Zanesville & Western must complete the work by the end of June 2012.

Under another agenda item, the ORDC approved a flood control project along the state-owned Panhandle Line that calls for installing a storm water culvert near Marne. The work will be performed by a contractor hired by the Ohio Central Railroad, with nearby additional flood control work to be handled by Licking County engineers. The culvert will resolve a severe flooding problem and resulting court case that dates back to when the line was owned by the former Conrail, ORDC officials said.

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More News from 9/16/2011