A stretch of track servicing one of the largest shippers on the Juniata Valley Railroad will get rehabilitated because of a $145,021 state grant awarded to the SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority (JRA).
This is the first of four phases to fix failed subgrade conditions and severe drainage issues on the 1.5-mile West Park Track in Granville Township, Mifflin County. The track services Greenbrier Rail Services, which has experienced 10 percent growth annually since 2012.
The current project’s cost is projected to be $207,173. The JRA will split the 30 percent local share with the private operator, the Juniata Valley Railroad.
For this first phase, over 650 feet of track and 1,550 feet of ditching will be reconstructed to improve drainage facilities, and 1,650 feet of ditch line and embankment will be stabilized with riprap, among other improvements.
“We are pleased that the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is assisting us to begin the correction of a section of track that requires extensive rehabilitation to continue to serve Greenbrier,” JRA Executive Director Jeff Stover said.
When the track was built in 1967 to service the Mifflin County Industrial Park, unsuitable native materials were used for a base that is now causing the subgrade to fail under load. The JRA procured this rail line around 10 years ago.
The Juniata Valley Railroad, the JRA’s private railroad operator, has been surfacing the site one to three times a year.
The project is part of $40 million in funding through the Rail Freight Assistance Program that will support an estimated 375 jobs in rail freight projects statewide.
When announcing the awards, Gov. Tom Wolf said Pennsylvania is ranked first for operating railroads and this is a sound investment for the state’s economy.