WEST CHESTER (May 13) – State Senator Andy Dinniman announced that $665,000 in state funding has been awarded for a major rail improvement project in Chester County that will create new jobs and retain existing ones.

The funds will go to the East Penn Railroad, LLC of Kennett Square for new turnouts, rail, ties, resurfacing and rebuilding a 2,000-foot siding, as well as replacing 3,800 mainline ties, 110 mainline switch timbers, surfacing five mainline turnouts, and 18,750 feet of mainline track.

train-839365_1920“The project is a great example of how investments in our rail freight network can help stimulate economic development and job growth,” Dinniman said. “In addition, improving and updating our rail infrastructure increases safety by easing traffic on our local roads and highways.”

The East Penn project is funded through PennDOT’s Rail Transportation Assistance Program (RTAP), a capital budget program. It was approved by the State Transportation Commission (STC) this week as part of $36 million in total funding for 31 rail improvement projects statewide. In total, those funds will create an estimated 9,200 jobs and retain 39,000 more over the next five years.

The East Penn Railroad operates 109 miles of miles of track in Southeastern Pennsylvania and Delaware with a roster of 14 locomotives. Established in 2007, it operates a number of short lines that provide freight and transloading services for cold storage, produce, grain, trucking, and agricultural businesses in the region.

“Pennsylvania has the most railroads in the nation and they remain a vital part of our transportation infrastructure while continuing to play a leading role in supporting economic development and job growth across the Commonwealth,” Dinniman said