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Rogers rail project gets grant of $130K

ROGERS — The Ohio Rail Development Commission has approved a $130,000 grant to Youngstown and Southeastern Railroad, a subsidiary of Midwest and Bluegrass Rail, to stabilize a railroad embankment in Columbiana County.

The project scope involves engineering and permit coordination, earthwork to restore a stream to its previous location, embankment stabilization and other related work.

Over the past several years, Little Bull Creek adjacent to the YSRR’s line near Rogers changed course. The new channel of the stream was directly against a YSRR embankment and began to erode it. The previous owner of the YSRR attempted to prevent further erosion by placing large concrete blocks against the embankment and partially in the new channel of the stream.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers became aware of this activity, which is considered an unauthorized fill in a regulated waterway and thus a violation of the Clean Water Act. The corps ordered the railroad to remove the unauthorized fill, which necessitated a long-term solution to the issue that would comply with the applicable regulations.

Matthew Dietrich, executive director of the ORDC, said “This project is an excellent example of how investments in shortline railroads in the state have positive impacts on the region. By improving the rail infrastructure, ORDC is not only leveraging railroad investment but also increasing safety on the line and continuing service to the railroad’s customers who depend on it.”

Brendan Keener, Business Development Manager and Government Affairs, Midwest and Bluegrass Rail, said, “The YSRR is grateful for Ohio Rail Development Commission assistance in resolving the Little Bull Creek embankment issue in Rogers. Addressing this situation will mitigate the possibility of a service outage and ensure YSRR’s continued operation to serve customers across the southern portion of its system from Rogers to Darlington, Pa.

news@vindy.com

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