Norfolk Southern lands $20 million state grant

HARRISBURG, April 24 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, today announced that Norfolk Southern has been awarded a $20 million grant to rehabilitate 14 bridges and lower tracks to accommodate double stack rail cars.

“The grant approved today is a major investment in regional infrastructure that will help boost jobs in the region,” said Matzie, whose 16th Legislative District is home to Norfolk Southern’s Conway Yard, one of the largest rail yards in the United States.

Matzie said the Rail Transportation Assistant Program grant, approved by the State Transportation Commission, will cover the lion’s share of the project’s estimated $28.5 million cost.

“The increased activity that this project will generate will be felt throughout the region,” said Matzie, who last week won unanimous House adoptions of resolutions commemorating May 13 as National Train Day and recognizing the freight rail industry and its employees. “We’re building on success, as southwestern Pennsylvania can expect a 40 percent increase in freight movement by 2040.”

The commission today approved grants totaling $40 million for nine projects through RTAP, a capital budget grant program funded with bonds, and 25 projects through the Rail Freight Assistance Program, which is underwritten through the Multimodal Fund. 

Matzie, chairman of the House Transportation Committee’s Sub-Committee on Rail, said regional projects also approved for Rail Transportation Assistant Program grants include:

  • $1 million for the Allegheny County Valley Railroad Co. to rehabilitate the 36th Street Trestle to eliminate weight restrictions;

  • $279,830 for U.S. Steel to  install switches, rehabilitate track and improve drainage; and

  • $700,000 for Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway Co. to replace decking on four bridges in Allegheny and Washington counties.