ORDC to Administer $800,000 Rail Connection at Leipsic Ohio
Short-line Rail Rehabs Approved & Glass Rock Line Lease Extended
Columbus (Thursday, Sept. 15, 2011) – A project to create a new connection to three railroads from the “Iron Highway Industrial Park” at Leipsic, Ohio will be administered by the Ohio Rail Development Commission, after ORDC Commissioners approved the move at their regular meeting. ORDC will administer the funding for the project on behalf of the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT). The funds were awarded by ODOT’s Transportation Review Advisory Committee (TRAC).
The project will improve rail connections to the Iron Highway Industrial Park, which includes a designated Ohio Jobs Ready site and already hosts the POET Ethanol Facility. The park is served by three railroads: Norfolk Southern, CSX and the Indiana & Ohio (RailAmerica) Railroad.
Wooster Branch Track Rehabilitation
Also approved was a project to rehabilitate the Wooster Branch of the RJ Corman Lines: a 3.5 mile rail line that serves 6 rail shippers that employ 300 people. RJ Corman Lines are currently working with local economic development officials on ways to generate more business. The track rehab project will aid in that effort by allowing safer, more reliable rail service. It’s estimated by ORDC that the improved track will also keep 2,516 trucks annually off of local highways and save costs for local shippers by slightly over $274,000 thousand dollars.
Track Project Approved for Stark & Tuscarawas County Rail Line
13 miles of the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway’s “Sandy Line” in Stark and Tuscarawas County will also get a major rehab with new Safety Ties to enable better safety and service. The line’s major shipper is American Refining which ships carloads of oil on the line. The upgrade of ties will enable more carloads of oil, enhance safety (oil is considered a Haz-Mat shipment) and help retain 25 jobs. It will also keep 6,780 trucks a year off of local highways.
Lease Extension Granted to Potential Tourist Railroad
ORDC Commissioners also agreed to allow an extension of a lease on the state-owned “Glass Rock Line” , an abandoned and unused line for over 10 years. The lease extension will allow additional time for a proposed tourist railroad, the Zanesville & Western, to complete planned track and safety repairs and brush clearing. The Z&W has until the end of June 2012 to complete the work. The line runs from Avondale in Muskingum County to the village of Glass Rock in Perry County.
Culvert Project Okayed to Ease Flooding Problem
A long-sought flood control remedy along the state-owned Panhandle Line was also approved. The project, aided by an $85,000 grant from ORDC, will enable a storm water culvert to be installed near the village of Marne in Licking County. The work will be done by a contractor hired by the Ohio Central Railroad (Genesee & Wyoming), with nearby additional flood control work to be done by the Licking County Engineer. The installation of the culvert resolves a severe flooding problem and resulting court case that dates back to when the line was owned by the former Conrail.
For more information contact:
Stu Nicholson, ORDC Communications,
at 614-644-0513 or