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The Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corp. (WCIDC) last month approved a $2.4 million contract with Frontier Railroad Services to replace more than 4 miles of rail for the Southwest Pennsylvania Railroad as part of regular infrastructure upgrades.
The railroad, which operates along 33 miles in Pennsylvania, is owned by the WCIDC but operated by Carload Express Inc.
A Pennsylvania Rail Transportation Assistance Program (RTAP) grant will cover 70 percent of the project's cost. Carload Express will provide local matching funds of $709,275, WCIDC officials said in a press release.
Administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Bureau of Rail, Freight, Ports and Waterways, the grant will be used to improve the Radebaugh Rail Relay section of the route. The work zone will stretch from the Greengate Centre shopping plaza in Hempfield in the north to Youngwood in the south.
Frontier Railroad will install new welded rail. Work is expected to be completed by September.
The grant marks the fourth rail relay grant the WCIDC has received for the installation of new welded rail. The previous grants have covered installation of 8.76 miles of new rail.
"Thanks to the ongoing support of the state RTAP program, the WCIDC has been able to regularly upgrade the Southwest Pennsylvania Railroad, which connects our local businesses to an international network," said WCIDC Executive Director Jason Rigone.