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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

STB authorizes R.J. Corman to build Pennsylvania line

Yesterday, the Surface Transportation Board (STB) granted final approval to R.J. Corman Railroad Group/Pennsylvania Lines Inc. to build and operate a new rail line in Pennsylvania using previously rail-banked right of way and new right of way.

The approval marks the first time the board signed off on a new rail line proposal combined with the restoration of rail service over a rail-banked right of way, STB officials said in a prepared statement.

R.J. Corman/Pennsylvania Lines now is authorized to construct a 10.8-mile line over a segment of abandoned rail right of way between Wallaceton and Winburne, Pa., and reactivate a connecting 9.3-mile line between Winburne and Gorton, Pa. The combined 20-mile line will be used to provide rail transportation services to a proposed waste-to-ethanol facility, quarry and industrial park near Gorton, as well as other shippers along the route.

The STB’s authorization is subject to environmental mitigation conditions and the stipulation that R.J. Corman build the line on the environmentally-preferable route, board officials said. R.J. Corman also is authorized to acquire the adjoining right of way currently being used as a trail in order to provide service on the combined route.

The decision follows an extensive environmental review and analysis of public concerns conducted by the board’s Office of Environmental Analysis, as well as several rounds of required environmental documentation, STB officials said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/22/2012