Area rail project receives $1.8M state grant

A $1.8 million grant from the state Department of Transportation will support a freight rail infrastructure improvement project in Washington and Westmoreland counties.

The grant, announced by state Sen. Camera Bartolotta (R-Carroll Twp.) will help finance the replacement of 14 miles of deteriorated jointed rail with continuous welded rail along the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway line between Union Township and Rostraver Township.

According to a press release, the project, which will cost a total of $2.57 million, will further extend the life of the rail, preserve service to existing customers, reduce fuel consumption and ease in the transportation of a variety of goods along the rail system, including coal and minerals, food, lumber, bulk chemicals, metals, petroleum products, paper and other products.

Construction on the project is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.

The grant was awarded as part of PennDOT’s Rail Transportation Assistance Program,