HARRISBURG – State Reps. Tommy Sankey (R-Clearfield/Cambria), Jim Rigby (R-Cambria/Somerset) and Mike Armanini (R-Clearfield/Elk) are applauding more than $31 million in statewide railroad improvements that are being funded by the Pennsylvania Transportation Commission.
“Pennsylvania is ‘railway rich’ with 65 working railroads, more than any other state,” said Sankey. “We are not called the Keystone State solely because of the amount of truck traffic on our roads. Pennsylvania is also a major rail freight ‘pass through’ and our neighbors and our country are counting on us to keep the trains moving.”
The list of funding recipients includes RJ Corman Railroad, which runs through a portion of Sankey’s district and will receive $3 million to replace approximately 7,500 ties and 74,000 feet of rail on worn areas of its Cherry Tree and Cresson subdivisions. Somerset County-based Corsa Coal Corporation is also being allocated more than $246,000 to rehabilitate approximately 10 miles of track from its Coleman Junction to the Cambria Plant near Berlin, Somerset County.
“We’re talking about family-sustaining jobs in a time when unemployment is high and the economy needs a jump start,” said Rigby. “Corsa moves coal, a key component in steelmaking, and they employ more than 400 Pennsylvanians and Marylanders in order to get that accomplished. This is money well spent.”
In addition, the Buffalo and Pittsburgh Railroad in Elk, McKean and Warren counties will use its $700,000 to replace approximately 44,000 ft. of rail and 2,500 ties in order to maintain service.
“Elk County’s portion of the line lies in Ridgway borough and Jones, Ridgway and Spring Creek townships,” added Armanini, who represents those municipalities. “Despite what you may have heard, coal remains king in our commonwealth for a number of reasons. Pennsylvania continues to be a major exporter of energy to neighboring states and our abundance of coal is the reason why. That abundance translates into jobs and revenue that would be difficult to replace.”