On Nov. 18, the Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC) approved grants providing the state share of the matching funds for four Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements Program (CRISI) Grant awards.

These grant awards were for the following projects:

• Chicago, Fort Wayne and Eastern Railroad (CFER) — $462,000, to match $4,358,547 of CFER funding and a $4,530,546 FRA CRISI grant to assist with upgrades in the Lima Yard and on approximately 11 miles of track from Lima to north-central Indiana.

• Napoleon, Defiance & Western Railroad (NDW) — $250,000, to match $3,862,452 of NDW funding and a $4,112,452 FRA CRISI grant to assist with significant track upgrades and eliminating speed, train length and height restrictions along the line between Defiance and Woodburn, Ind.

• RJ Corman Western Ohio & Cleveland Lines (RJC) — $489,300, to match $709,485 of RJC funding and a $2,226,315 FRA CRISI grant to assist with the installation of more than 20,000 ties over 28 miles of track in and around Massillon, Wooster, Celina and Lima.

• Youngstown and Southeastern Railroad (YSRR) — $350,025, to match $350,025 of YSRR funding and a $700,050 FRA CRISI grant.to assist with the installation of more than 10,000 ties and perform necessary surfacing along the line between Struthers and Signal in Mahoning and Columbiana Counties. Five highway-rail at-grade crossing surfaces will also be repaired as a result of this project.

Matthew Dietrich, Executive Director of the ORDC, said, “Many entities worked together to ensure the success of these grant applications. This federal grant program provided us the opportunity to leverage both private and state funding for railroads. These rail infrastructure improvements will have positive impacts on Ohio’s transportation network for decades.

“The Ohio Rail Development Commission is grateful that the Federal Railroad Administration recognized the value of these projects to the region’s economy and it is now our responsibility to make these projects a reality for Ohio.”

ORDC assists Ohio companies and communities in creating and retaining jobs by preserving rail ORDC assists Ohio companies and communities in creating and retaining jobs by preserving rail service to existing shippers and providing rail service to new customers.  

In addition, the ORDC funds projects to improve railroad-highway grade crossings to increase safety to the traveling public. Please remember, when around railroad tracks always expect a train. Rail lines in Ohio are private property and trespassing is both strictly prohibited and extremely dangerous.

For additional information regarding this project or for additional information on ORDC, please contact Wende Jourdan at (614) 728-9497.