Virginia helps restart rail-barge
A rail-barge service connecting Virginia's eastern shore with the Port of Virginia and other customers in Norfolk and Virginia Beach will resume service next week after a one-year shutdown to complete needed repairs, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell announced Tuesday.
American Shipper.com reported before Thanksgiving that the Bay Coast Railroad was putting the final touches on the overhauled car float and anticipated carrying freight again in early December.
The short-line railroad last year suspended operations across the Chesapeake Bay because severe corrosion had compromised the structural integrity of the barge. The $1 million repair bill was covered by a $700,000 grant from the state's Shortline Railway Preservation Fund and a $300,000 match evenly split between Accomack and Northampton counties, and the Bay Coast Railroad.
'The partnership to return this critical rail-barge service is an example of the commonwealth’s commitment to invest in innovative transportation solutions. The service delivers greater rail options to one of our country’s busiest ports, provides essential rail service to the Eastern Shore, and reduces truck traffic in the Hampton Roads area,” McDonnell said in a statement.
During the rail-barge's hiatus, customers diverted their bulk commodities to truck for shipment through the Bay Bridge-Tunnel or to the Norfolk Southern for the roundabout route through Maryland and down through central Virginia. ' Eric Kulisch