Small railroad gets $25 million to overhaul track
The Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway will receive $25 million from a federal loan program designed to help railroads, especially short-lines, upgrade their infrastructure.
The Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing program was set up to provide low-interest loans and loan guarantees worth $3.5 billion, but complex bureaucratic rules and procedures have hindered significant disbursement so far.
The Wheeling & Lake Erie will use the money to replace more than 168,000 noisy, jointed rail ties with continuous welded rail designed to cause fewer derailments and fewer shipping delays, the Federal Railroad Administration said last week. The newer track is also capable of handling the larger 286,000-pound rail cars that are now standard in the industry.
The W&LE is a regional railroad that provides service to about 170 shippers over about 900 miles of track in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Maryland. It connects with three major railroads and 14 other short line railroads, and primarily carries commodities such as coal, stone, iron ore and steel.