HARRISBURG – Sen. Pat Stefano (R-32) announced more than $9.3 million in investments for two rail freight improvement projects in the 32nd District that will improve freight mobility and create or sustain jobs.
Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway (W&LE) will receive $9 million from the Rail Transportation Assistance Program (RTAP) to replace more than 19 miles of jointed rail with continuous welded rail in Westmoreland and Fayette counties. The existing rail was installed more than 85 years ago, and recent testing revealed 31 rail defects. W&LE predominantly hauls carloads of hazardous material on this line segment with Natural Gas Liquids, acetone and asphalt.
“This project will not only extend the life of the rail infrastructure and preserve service to existing customers, but it will also provide safe transportation of commodities through the communities I represent, thereby enhancing the safety of the residents living along the W&LE rail lines,” Sen. Stefano said.
The second investment will benefit Corsa Coal Corporation by using $349,000 to rehabilitate 10 miles of track at its Cambria Plant, including repairs to the loop track and runaround track.
The rail already exists at the Cambria Prep Plant, but it is in continued need of repair. Rail transport would result in a safe, sustainable method in comparison to trucking and enables plants to become revenue centers through value-added services.
As an employer of almost 300 jobs in Somerset County, it is important for Corsa Coals to continue this project.
The State Transportation Commission voted to approve both projects through the Rail Freight Assistance Program.
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