York Railway receives $1.3M to improve West York rail yard

Anthony Maenza
York Dispatch

York County is among those that will benefit from rail freight improvement projects approved by the Pennsylvania Transportation Commission.  

A project involving the York Railway was included in the 24 projects that cover 25 counties approved by the commission through the Rail Freight Assistance Program and the Rail Transportation Assistance Program, according to a December news release from the governor's office.  

The railway received $1.3 million to rehabilitate tracks in the Lincoln Rail Yard, which includes 250 feet of new connecting track. Lincoln Yard is located on West Market Street in West York. 

A train is seen crossing North George Street  through the window of a second floor office in the recently renovated Western Maryland Railway Freight Office in York City, Friday, Dec. 4, 2020. The Farm & Natural Lands Trust of York County moved into the building on Oct. 1. Dawn J. Sagert photo

“The York Railway (YRC) Rail Freight Program project would replace more than 11,000 feet of rail and 2,200 crossties as well as distribute 1,500 tons of stone ballast, replace one turnout and construct 250 feet of new track,” said Tom Ciuba, vice president of communications for Genesee & Wyoming Railroad Services Inc., which owns York Railway. 

The 250 feet of new track will connect two existing segments of track within the yard, Ciuba said.

Construction on the project is expected to start in late 2024, depending on contract details and availability of materials, Ciuba said.

The 24 projects will help railroads move cargo while creating or sustaining more than 340 jobs across Pennsylvania, the governor's office said. York Railway has nearly two dozen employees in York County who support 15 customers around York, including Church & Dwight and ES-3, that handle nearly 20 different commodities, Ciuba said. 

The money allocated for the project was part of $26 million approved by the commission for projects through both the Rail Freight Assistance Program and the Rail Transportation Assistance Program.  

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“These investments in Pennsylvania’s rail system create jobs, support efficient freight travel and help keep the business community connected to the global economy,” Gov. Tom Wolf said in a statement.  

Pennsylvania has 65 operating railroads, which is more than any other state, according to the state Department of Transportation. PennDOT works with private rail operators and rail-served businesses to develop new lines and to maintain the state’s 5,600 miles of freight lines.