Pennsylvania provides more than $40 million for freight rail projects

A train travels on a track that has trees on either side.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PENNDOT) is awarding more than $40 million in funding towards 26 freight rail improvement projects throughout the state.

While the majority of the grants are under $2 million to support network repairs and track and bridge rehabilitation, $14.4 million will be given to CSX (NYSE: CSX) to lower tracks under nine overhead obstructions so that CSX will be able to route double-stack container and multi-level auto rack traffic to and from the Port of Philadelphia. CSX’s project will take place in Delaware and Philadelphia Counties.

The full list of funded projects is available here.

There are 65 operating railroads in Pennsylvania, “which is more than any other state in the country,” according to PENNDOT. The agency offers freight rail assistance grants annually. In 2018, it awarded $23 million for 27 rail projects.

“Investing in our extensive rail freight system increases mobility options and improves the efficiency of freight travel,” said Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D). “These investments underscore our continued commitment to building a world-class infrastructure system that supports the business community and the creation of new jobs.” 

According to the Port of Philadelphia, both CSX and Norfolk Southern (NYSE: NSC) operate trains through the port. Norfolk Southern already provides double-stacking intermodal service at the port.

“CSX appreciates Governor Wolf and the Pennsylvania DOT for their leadership and commitment to investing in transportation infrastructure improvements to advance economic and job growth. This grant allows CSX to lower tracks in nine key areas that will increase capacity and improve service between Philadelphia to Midwest and Southeast markets for both domestic and international intermodal, and automotive traffic,” CSX said.  

“The project will provide benefits for dimensional cargo shipments, such as turbines and machinery.  Pennsylvania stakeholders will also benefit from improved logistics systems along with the inherent environmental benefits of moving more freight by rail in lieu of trucks. Design and permitting is expected to continue through most of 2020 with the construction anticipated in 2021,” the railroad said.