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Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett yesterday announced that 33 freight-rail infrastructure projects will receive funding from three Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT)-managed programs.The State Transportation Commission approved $33.4 million in grants for 15 projects through the Rail Transportation Assistance Program (RTAP) and 14 projects through the Rail Freight Assistance Program (RFAP).In addition, the commission signed off on $1.3 million for four projects that will come from Marcellus Shale impact fees designated for distribution through PennDOT's Bureau of Rail Freight, Ports and Waterways. Those allocations include $367,500 to Lehigh Railway L.L.C. for various rail improvements and a deck replacement on the Wyalusing Bridge; $350,000 to the Pittsburgh, Allegheny, McKees Rocks Railroad Co. to install new turnouts and construct and rehabilitate track, including crosstie replacements; and $339,500 to Youngstown & Southeastern Railroad Inc. to rehabilitate track from the Pennsylvania border to Darlington, Pa., and rebuild a siding."Pennsylvania has more operating railroads than any other state, and investing in our rail freight network keeps these invaluable assets in prime position to generate economic growth and jobs," said Corbett in a press release. "Improving rail networks not only spurs our economy, it also increases safety by helping to ease traffic on our highways."RTAP allocations include:• $7 million to Casella Waste Management of Pennsylvania Inc. to construct a rail siding transfer station along a Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad line;• $4 million to Economic Progress Alliance of Crawford County to construct a 7,000-foot unit train loop track and a 400-foot industrial track siding for a new tenant in the Keystone Regional Industrial Park;• $2.5 million to South Avis Realty to reconstruct a rail yard and construct additional track;• $2.3 million to Allegheny Eastern Railroad Inc. to re-establish and upgrade tracks in Warren yard;• $1.9 million to Mittal Steel USA Railways/Steelton & Highspire to rehabilitate 14,242 feet of track, including 27 turnouts;• $1.8 million to the SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority to rehabilitate nine bridges on five short lines to accommodate 315,000-pound freight cars;• $1.8 million to Bucks County Railroad Preservation & Restoration Corp. to replace rail;• $1.2 million to Allegheny Valley Railroad Co. to construct 4,500 feet of track for a new interchange siding with the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway in Bruceton; and • $940,310 to Medley Investments to relocate a Canadian Pacific mainline switch, construct a 1,050-foot siding, install a concrete pad for loading and unloading, and establish a stone/gravel storage area.RFAP grants include:• $732,200 to Columbia and Reading Railway Co. L.L.C. to add five new tracks and nine new turnouts, realign 390 feet of mainline track and add 1,350 feet of track;• $700,000 to the Reading, Blue Mountain and Northern Railroad Co. to rehabilitate track in the Buck Mountain tunnel, including the replacement of 2,478 ties;• $507,150 to Pennsylvania Northeast Railroad to install 2,000 new ties, and replace and repair two grade crossings;• $493,640 to East Penn Railroad L.L.C. to replace ties, rails and ballast, and renew a crossing;• $277,088 to Three Rivers Marine and Rail Terminal L.P. to rehabilitate a crossing and connection to Wheeling & Lake Erie, and rehabilitate track on a Koppers lead mainline;• $250,000 to North Shore Railroad for the first of two phases involving the construction of 1,500 feet of new track in its yard; and• $127,194 to Oil Creek Titusville Lines Inc. to install 1,500 new ties and restore a roadbed's profile and depth.
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