The state handed out 20 million in grants to improve rail transportation.
FARRELL, Pa. -- A 900,000 state grant is designed to increase rail shipments at Duferco Farrell Corp. and create 20 jobs.
The governor's office said the money will be used for construction and track rehabilitation at the company's mill, which employs 500.
The project will increase its capacity to handle shipments from Norfolk Southern rail lines. Truck shipments will be reduced by 25,700 trips a year, he company said.
The local grant was part of 20 million in grants announced Tuesday by Gov. Edward G. Rendell. They are to help 11 railroads and 10 businesses improve rail operations, which are designed to stimulate economic development and reduce traffic congestion.
The projects will help create 1,290 jobs and maintain 13,000 current jobs. Truck trips will be reduced by 589,800 annually.
Several of the grants are for projects that will provide businesses with connections to rail lines. The Greater Erie Industrial Development Corp. received a grant to redevelop rail lines on the former International Paper brownfield site. The new track at this site will connect a biodiesel company with the CSX mainline, the state said.
Another key investment improves the connection between rail lines. The Allegheny Valley Railroad Co. received a grant to rehabilitate track in Allegheny and Washington counties.
The New Bruceton Connection will link the Allegheny Valley Railroad with CSX, Wheeling & amp; Lake Erie and B & amp;P railroads, providing shippers in western Pennsylvania with access to markets in the Midwest.
The grants are administered by Pennsylvania Department of Transportation's Bureau of Rail Freight, Ports & amp; Waterways. Pennsylvania leads the nation with 65 operating railroads and ranks fifth in the nation with more than 5,000 track miles.