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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Pennsylvania's 2009-10 budget proposes $27 million for freight rail


Yesterday, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell proposed a $26.6 billion 2009-10 budget that includes $537 million in infrastructure spending.

The “Rebuild Pennsylvania” funds would include $200 million for bridge repairs; $294.5 million for water, sewer, flood control and dam projects; and $42.5 million for rail and aviation improvement projects.

Pennsylvania would help fund major freight-rail expansions planned by CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern Corp. The Class Is collectively will spend more than $2.7 billion to boost capacity in the commonwealth, said Rendell in a prepared statement.

The budget proposes $27 million for freight-rail infrastructure in addition to $30 million that’s available annually through Pennsylvania’s Rail Transportation Assistance Capital Bond Program, NS officials said in a statement.

"As part of our Crescent Corridor project, over the next several years Norfolk Southern intends to spend tens of millions of dollars in Pennsylvania to build new intermodal facilities and add track capacity, which will, in turn, create new jobs and economic development opportunities,” they said.

A 2,500-mile rail network to be established between Pennsylvania and the Gulf Coast, the Crescent Corridor will reduce interstate congestion, increase train speeds and boost reliability, NS said. In Pennsylvania, the Class I plans to improve existing terminals in Harrisburg, Bethlehem and Philadelphia, and construct a new intermodal terminal in the south-central part of the commonwealth. NS also will upgrade track and signals between Franklin County and the Lehigh Valley.