Posts Tagged ‘Pennsylvania short line railroads’

R&N Buys 19-mile Rail Line

June 28, 2021

Pennsylvania short line Reading & Northern has purchased a 19-mile line from Carbon County, Pennsylvania.

The route gives R&N a continuous mainline between Reading and Scranton.

In a news release, R&N said it paid $4.7 million for the track, which it now uses under a trackage rights agreement.

The route links R&N’s Reading and Lehigh divisions. R&N said it will honor a lease with the current freight operator of the line, the C&S Railroad.

The latter provides service to three shippers. R&N will use the line for overhead freight traffic and its passenger excursion trains.

The acquisition fulfills a 30-year desire of R&N owner and CEO Andy Muller, Jr. of having a continuous main line railroad between Reading and Scranton.

R&N in a news release said the Reading-Scranton route “never before [was] owned by any railroad.

Mueller reportedly sought several times over the years to purchase the track from Carbon County.

Last year the R&N completed construction of a $14 million railroad bridge over the Lehigh River as part of a plan to provide a more efficient, direct route between Reading and Scranton.

R&N said it plans to spend more than a million to rebuild the track of the Carbon County line.

Pa. to Fund Rail Freight Projects

January 13, 2021

Pennsylvania will provide $31.3 million in funding for 26 rail freight improvement projects through the state’s Rail Transportation Assistance Program and Rail Freight Assistance Program.

The projects range from $8.4 million to CSX to increase clearance in a tunnel to provide double-stack and auto rack clearance to the Port of Philadelphia to $130,900 to Winfield Storage of Union County to rebuild 400 feet of track and build an unloading pit and conveyor to transload agricultural products.  Other recipients included:

• Boyd Station, $2.6 million, for construction of four new tracks and installation of unloading equipment.

• Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad, $700,000, for replacement of some 44,000 feet of rail and 2,500 ties, and the line surfacing.

• Corsa Coal , $246,434, for rehabilitation of about 10 miles of track from its Coleman Junction to the Cambria Plant.

• Delaware-Lackawanna Railroad, $1.3 million, for the construction of a 3,900-foot siding and replacement of approximately 7,440 feet of rail and 1,550 ties.

• Dyer Quarry, $192,150, for a locomotive storage expansion project, including track re-alignment.

East Penn Railroad, $500,500, for the replacement of about 4,500 ties on the Wilmington Northern line and 2,000 ties on the Quakertown line.

• Gettysburg and Northern Railroad, $1.5 million, for replacement of approximately 2,600 ties and 3,315 feet of main line rail, and for improvements to three at-grade crossings.

• Lehigh Railway, LLC, $506,100, for replacement of approximately 4,900 ties.

• New Castle Industrial Railroad, Inc., $262,500, for construction of a 3,200-foot siding to accommodate increased interchange traffic with CSX and Norfolk Southern.

• Oil Creek Titusville Lines, Inc., $140,000, for a 1,000-foot siding extension.  

• P and S Railyard, $227,658, for transloading project work.

• Pennsylvania Northeastern Railroad, $483,000, for replacement of approximately 6,000 ties on its Stony Creek and Bethlehem branches.

• Procter & Gamble Paper Products Co., $246,886, for turnout replacement work.

• Redevelopment Authority of Luzerne County, $276,500, for replacement of about 1,500 ties and surfacing 5 miles of track.

Redevelopment Authority of the County of Berks, $991,250, for construction of about 1,200 feet of yard tracks at the Boyertown Transload Facility.

• RJ Corman Railroad, $3 million, for replacement of approximately 7,500 ties and 74,000 feet of rail on its Cherry Tree and Cresson subdivisions.

• SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority, $282,245, for rehabilitation of 1,550 feet of track on its West Park branch.  

• South Avis Realty, $391,461, for tie replacement and surfacing of industrial park tracks.

• Three Rivers Marine & Rail Terminals, LLC,  $176,146, for replacement of about 600 ties and two switches, and the surfacing of 800 feet of track.

• Union Railroad Co., $700,000, for replacement of about 500 bridge ties and 700 feet of rail, as the first phase of a low-grade bridge project; $1 million for Port Perry Bridge repairs, including replacement of floor beams and bridge stringers.

• Western New York and Pennsylvania Railroad, $4.7 million, for replacement of three thru-truss bridges and rehabilitation of two abutments on a thru-girder bridge.

•  York Railway Co., $2.1 million, for 1.2 miles of rail replacement and the rehabilitation of seven turnouts and 10 public grade crossings.

R&N Says it Gained Traffic in 2020

January 12, 2021

Pennsylvania regional railroad Reading & Northern said it managed to post gains in revenue in 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic, which generally depressed rail freight traffic in North  America.

R&N said in a news release that it moved more than 34,000 carloads and had a revenue increase of almost than 4 percent.

The railroad said its coal business increased in tonnage and revenues. Its warehouse in Ransom, Pennsylvania, saw a 54 percent increase in carloads.

R&N handled 91,000 people in passenger operations that were limited by the pandemic, and purchased 17 locomotives, 143 coal hoppers, a welded rail train, and 34,000 ties.

Corman Completes Deal for Short Lines

December 9, 2020

R. J. Corman has completed its acquisition of three short line railroads that operate in Pennsylvania and New York.

Corman now owns 17 short lines in its R.J. Corman Railroad Group with the latest members being the Owego and Harford Railway, Lehigh Railway, and Luzerne & Susquehanna Railway.

All three companies were founded by Steve May and handle 14,000 annual carloads that include sand, scrap, feed products, plastic, propane and wood products.

Traffic is interchanged with Norfolk Southern and the Reading & Northern.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed in a Corman announcement.

Corman Asks STB Not to Intervene in R&N Dispute

November 7, 2020

R.J. Corman has asked the U.S. Surface Transportation board not to intervene in a dispute it is having with the Reading & Northern over the use of a wye.

Corman told the STB in a letter that its dispute with R&N is purely a contract matter with which the board should not get involved.

The dispute began when Corman moved to begin operating short line Luzerne & Susquehanna and subsequently revoked R&N’s permission to use all three legs of a wye in Pittston, Pennsylvania, that connects the two railroads.

R&N earlier this week asked the STB to grant it access to the wye as part of the agency’s approval of the acquisition approval process of the L&S.

Corman contended that R&N is seeking to changes the terms of R&N’s use of the agreement giving it use of the wye rather than to maintain the status quo.

It also argued that R&N’s petition to the board was an effort “to obtain an advantage in its contract dispute.”

The changes that R&N is seeking, Corman said, would significantly change the termination clause of the agreement.

Dispute Over Use of Wye May be Decided by STB

November 6, 2020

Two regional railroads operating in Pennsylvania may be headed to the U.S. Surface Transportation Board in an effort to resolve a dispute over a connection.

Reading & Northern wants the STB to ntervene after it failed to reach agreement with R.J. Corman over use of a connection in Pittston, Pennsylvania.

The two sides are at odds over use of the Pittston Wye at the connection between R&N and the Luzerne & Susquehanna, which Corman is in the process of acquiring.

Corman has argued that its assumption of ownership of the L&S terminates a 1994 agreement that allowed R&N to use all three legs of the wye.

The track on the wye had been maintained and dispatched by the R&N.

In a letter to the STB, R&N officials said the talks with Corman over the matter have stalled.

R&N wants federal regulators to require Corman to grant it rights to use the wye as part of the approval process of Coman’s acquisition of the L&S.

R&N Begins Serving New Customer in Hazelton

October 30, 2020

Pennsylvania-based regional railroad Reading & Northern said it has delivered the first rail cars to its newest customer in the Humboldt Industrial Park in Hazelton, Pennsylvania.

The shipper is IRIS USA, a Japan-based plastics producer.

R&N said it helped IRIS locate at the site, its first in the Northeast, in March 2017. 

“An important element of the final site section was [our] ability to build the necessary railroad track infrastructure on time and on budget,” R&N officials said in a news release.

The release said R&N offers a dedicated customer service group and provides a scheduled delivery service within a two-hour service window.

Pastoral Scene

October 23, 2020

We’re back today on the Wellsville, Addison & Galeton, a former Pennsylvania short line railroad that operated over one-time Baltimore & Ohio track. The road was known for its F units and two of them, 2200 and 2300, are shown leading a short freight through Sabinsville, Pennsylvania, on July 26, 1973. The line shut down in late 1979.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Pa. Short Line Operating Wabash Heritage Unit

October 10, 2020

There’s another Wabash heritage unit on the rails.

The Delaware-Lackawanna Railroad has given am Alco C424 Wabash Railroad markings

The Scranton, Pennsylvania-based short line railroad noted that locomotive No. 2409 was built in 1964 as part of a cancelled order of seven units for the National Railways of Mexico.

The Wabash purchased the units shortly before it was merged by lease into the Norfolk & Western system.

The unit operated for N&W until the late 1970s when it was sold to an industry in the Midwest.

The D-L recently acquired No. 2409 and applied “Wabash” lettering to the blue-painted unit.

However, the Wabash look is temporary. D-L plans to repaint it eventually into its  “Corporate White” livery.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Says 2015 SEDA-COG Contract Vote Constituted Legal Majority

October 6, 2020

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has sided with Carload Express in its contention that the SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority should have awarded it a seven-year contract to operate the agency’s seven rail lines.

In a 6-2 vote the court rejected the contention of the Susquehanna Economic Development Assocation-Council of Governments Joint Rail Authority that its vote in 2015 to award the contract did not constitute a majority of its governing board.

When the vote was taken, all 16 of the board members were present but six of them abstained in the 7-2 vote to award the contract to Carload Express, which is based in Oakmont, Pennsylvania.

SEDA-COG later declined to award the contract, saying that under its bylaws a majority vote would constitute nine affirmative votes.

The court wrote in its opinion that if the agency wanted to require nine votes to award a contract it could have changed its bylaws to state that.

Justice Christine Donohue wrote that in Pennsylvania the law is that a majority constitutes a majority of those voting provided that a quorum is present.

Carload Express had earlier won a lower court ruling directing SEDA-COG to award it the contract to operate the seven rail lines that total 200 miles of track in central and eastern Pennsylvania serving 70 shippers.

The lines are currently operated by Susquehanna Union and Carload of Northumberland, Pennsylvania, which does business as North Shore Railroad.

North Shore’s contract with SEDA-COG expired in 2017 but the authority has allowed it to remain the operator of the lines.

In a lawsuit that is still pending in Clinton County, North Shore argued the vote never should never have been taken.

North Shore cited the “inappropriate actions of a rogue board member” as tainting the vote.

Until all of the litigation surrounding the 2015 vote is resolved, North Shore will continue to operate the SEDA-COG rail lines.