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Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council Announces Steuben County Rail Restoration

(July 25, 2012)

Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council Announces Steuben County Rail Restoration

The Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council today announced that the Wellsboro and Corning Railroad Company LLC (WCOR) has received contract approval for $1.8 million in funding for the Steuben County Rail restoration initiative from Corning to the Pennsylvania State line. WCOR will restore 11 miles of mainline railroad track and reconstruct approximately 7,500 feet of former second main track. The project will allow the railroad to continue to provide timely, efficient, and environmentally-friendly service to rail served customers in the Southern Tier.

“With technology advancing so rapidly, often times people forget how important the railroad system is to our economy. However, Governor Cuomo and the Council have demonstrated we understand a strong and sustainable transportation infrastructure system is vital to growing area businesses, and as a result spur job creation and drive the Southern Tier’s economy forward,” said Regional Council Co-chairs David Skorton and Tom Tranter. “By supporting this project, the Council is helping to improve and sustain a vital service to our local businesses, which will improve their bottom line and hundreds of jobs they represent in our communities.”

“Restoration and reconstruction of this section of track will increase efficiency to customers. This project is needed to keep existing track in good repair, maintain travel times, increase operating efficiencies and safety, and reduce congestion on local roads,” said New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald. “Governor Cuomo’s strategic use of funding to improve the State’s economy by investing in our transportation infrastructure and supporting more efficient ways to ship goods will create jobs and attract businesses to our great State.”

Seth Gentile, Wellsboro and Corning Railroad project manager, said that construction is expected to begin in September 2012. The work will include replacing or repairing turnouts, crossties, grade crossings and joints along the Wellsboro-Corning Main Line.

Construction of the rail work will begin in September 2012 and is expected to be completed in December 2013. Of the total cost, the state share of $1.8 million is from the 2005 Transportation Bond Act Rail and Port Program. WCOR will provide the additional $200,000.

Senator Thomas O’Mara said, “We remain grateful to Governor Cuomo and the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council for identifying and carrying out projects critical to rebuilding and revitalizing our regional economy. The development and improvement of our regional transportation infrastructure, including this Steuben County Rail restoration, represents a key economic priority for our communities and workers. Transportation plays a prominent role in turning around the fortunes of upstate New York manufacturing, tourism, agriculture and every other segment of the private-sector economy.”

Assemblyman Phil Palmesano said, “Projects like the Steuben County Rail restoration are critical to the overall, piece-by-piece effort to rebuild and improve our region’s transportation infrastructure. This commitment to infrastructure drives the future of our regional economy, and we appreciate Governor Cuomo’s and the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council’s continued leadership and ongoing recognition of its fundamental importance.”

The grant awarded to WCOR is part of a total of $785 million that was awarded last year through the Economic Development Council’s Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) for job creation and community development projects consistent with each region’s strategic plans.

To learn more about each regional council and their economic development plans, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov.

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