FRA: $6.8 Million for Rail Improvements in Pennsylvania Will Create Jobs

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced a $6.8 million grant to upgrade freight rail service in four central Pennsylvania counties supporting the Marcellus Shale natural gas deposits.

As a result, one of the world’s largest natural gas deposits will receive the rail transportation improvements needed to meet growing demand, officials said.

“Projects like this advance President Obama’s vision to create jobs, support U.S. energy sources and reinvigorate the economy,” LaHood said. “Building an innovative, transportation network with world-class railways will help local businesses compete now and in the future.”

The project – which includes 200 miles of track improvements and bridge rehabilitation – is expected to create more than 300 construction jobs in Pennsylvania. . These upgrades will expand the capacity, efficiency and safety of Pennsylvania’s short line rail network in Lycoming, Centre, Blair and Northumberland counties.

The grant, a part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s TIGER II (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) program, will be matched by $4.6 million from the Susquehanna Economic Development Association – Council of Governments Joint Rail Authority.