• RJ Corman wants to reactive rr line in Clearfield and Centre

  • For discussion of R.J. Corman Railroad Group Operations. R.J. Corman has several short lines switching operations across the U.S. Official Website: https://www.rjcorman.com
For discussion of R.J. Corman Railroad Group Operations. R.J. Corman has several short lines switching operations across the U.S. Official Website: https://www.rjcorman.com

Moderator: Nicolai3985

  by bwparker1

It is unclear to me if the tracks are actually present and not in use, or if they would need to be replaced.... seems like it is relevant to the Rush Township Landfill Project. It seems like this is the line that it currently used by the Snowshoe Rails to Trails ATV group.


  by EMTRailfan
According to the PDF map that you posted at the top of the list, the line is "discontinued service" to Winburne, and then nothing after that. You're probably right about the Rails to Trails line. Yeah!!! Rail banking being used like it should.

  by Beech Cricker
EMTRailfan wrote:According to the PDF map that you posted at the top of the list, the line is "discontinued service" to Winburne, and then nothing after that. You're probably right about the Rails to Trails line. Yeah!!! Rail banking being used like it should.
With this project, all of the trackage from Wallaceton east was previously removed: CR pulled up from just east of Winburne to Snow Shoe (Clarence) in 1993-94--this is now the rail-trail--and Corman removed the Wallaceton-Winlburne in sections after they acquired the "Clearfield Cluster" from CR in late 1995.

  by Beech Cricker
The Centre Daily Times finally awakened on this subject...

Wednesday, May. 14, 2008
Company will seek to reopen rail line
20-mile section would serve proposed industrial park, landfill

By Anne Danahy- [email protected]

A Kentucky-based railroad company wants to reactivate 20 miles of rail line that could serve the landfill and industrial park another company wants to build in Rush Township.

Noel Rush, vice president for strategic planning and development at R.J. Corman Railroad, of Nicholasville, Ky., said the company plans to file the request with the federal Surface Transportation Board in the next few weeks. The proposed rail line would cover about 20 miles from Wallaceton in Clearfield County through Rush Township to the Gorton area in Snow Shoe Township.

Rush said Resource Recovery, the Lancaster County-based company that wants to build a municipal waste landfill and industrial park in the northern corner of Rush Township, is the prospective shipper that could use the rail line.

Resource Recovery has faced strong community opposition to its proposal, which includes building an Interstate 80 interchange to provide direct access to the site. Although the state Department of Environmental Protection’s review of the project is on hold, the company recently bought the 5,800-acre site for the landfill and industrial park.

According to papers filed with Centre County, Resource Recovery bought the land for $3.4 million on April 25. Company President Ed Abel could not be reached for comment.

The Federal Highway Administration review of the proposed interchange has also been on hold because the interchange is not part of county transportation plans.

Rush said if the rail line project is a success, R.J. Corman expects to have one inbound and one outbound train a day, with 10 to 20 cars initially. He said the trains could be used to haul commodities such as “cubed” or compacted garbage to the landfill and sand and gravel from the industrial park. Glenn O. Hawbaker Inc. has said it wants to build a sandstone quarry in the park.

About half of the proposed rail line is part of the Snow Shoe Rails to Trails’ recreational route.

Larry Mayes, the group’s secretary, said if the rail line is rebuilt the group will lose two historic structures: the Peale Tunnel and the Viaduct Bridge. The tunnel was built in 1883 and recently underwent a major restoration with a state grant.

Mayes said the group, which has about 2,300 members, has several other projects under way and will work through the political process to explain what the trail brings to the area.

“We want to make politicians understand the benefits of having a trail there versus reactivating the rail line,” Mayes said.

The rail lines that Mayes’ group maintains are actually owned by Headwaters Charitable Trust. In December 2004, the trust signed an agreement with Resource Recovery that if Resource Recovery reactivated the rail line, the company would give the trust land for a new trail.

Mayes said the Snow Shoe group was not part of that agreement.

Rush said R.J. Corman plans to acquire the easement and right to operate that section from Conrail’s successor, Norfolk Southern Railway Co. While correspondence from the Surface Transportation Board refers to the entire 20-mile segment, Rush said the emphasis of the Surface Transportation Board’s review will be on the half that is not part of Rails to Trails.

The railroad was active from the mid-1880s until about 15 to 20 years ago, Rush said.

The federal Transportation Board’s environmental review will include looking at features such as historic structures, wetlands, whether there are endangered species and the effect the project could have on residents. The transportation board hired a consultant in Harrisburg to handle the process. The review information will be presented to the three-member board, which makes the decision about the reactivation. According to the department, the review usually takes 12 to 15 months but can take up to two years.

The process includes getting input from federal, state and local agencies, including the Centre and Clearfield county planning offices.

Bob Jacobs, director of the Centre County Planning and Community Development Office, said his office will provide background information about the proposed landfill. He said the request to use the railroad lines might be premature because the proposed landfill has been put on hold for more than a year.

Jodi Brennan, director of the Clearfield County Planning Department, said one question she has is where the waste is coming from and where it will be loaded.

She said there are populated areas along the route, too.

“It does drive through some backyards,” Brennan said. “It will be an adjustment for the folks that haven’t had an active rail line going through their backyards.”

Anne Danahy can be reached at 231-4648.

  by bwparker1
Thanks Beech Criker, I was going to post that!

  by mikeexplorer
There has been some updates on the site I posted above, looks like they are angling for the quarry and a Ethanol plant using garbage to make it. I hope this does not go through. This would mean a loss of a valuable rail-trail, and one of few that allows motorized usage.

  by EMTRailfan
Jeremy Zella wrote:There are too many rail-trails in this commonwealth already. Hopefully it WILL go through and loosen the rail-trails grip.
Amen. A rail-trail is the second best thing for a rail banked ROW. The best thing is a re-lay. If a line is abandoned, I would much rather see it go to rail banking and a public use trail instead of getting plowed under in corn fields or developed over and never being able to be seen again, so I am not AGAINST rail-trails.
  by Jeremy Zella
It's not even that it is the 2nd best thing, it's the fact that it should (have) never even happen. When a railroad decides to abandon a line, the state/commonwealth should step in and take over the land. It should become property of the state then, to prevent any type of developement so that in the case of, and this is, businesses come on line or other feasable rail related use comes back, it is not a problem.

But first, I'm working backwards here, give the opportunity to Amtrak. How many miles of rail have been abandoned and/or torn up that Amtrak could have possibly used? Let them look at the line and see if it would be realistic for them to take the line and get their trains off of a freight railroads rails. A good example of this would be for the Milwaukee Roads line across Montana. They could have operated on their own rail, not having to concern themselves with freight trains and still be able to provide quality service.

Any thoughts?

  by SemperFidelis
Though hypocrisy abounds in all political matters, we don't have a great amount of agreement on the subject of government "intrusion" into private enterprise. I agree with you that it should happen, but there's a lot of people who (despite using airports, interstate highways and accepting the protection of the military) are strongly against government spending, government spending on infrastructure, or our government taking part in private industries.

But, then again, I'm one of those shippers who openly advocates "open access" to the rail system. I see the rails as a public utility for interstate commerce and national defense, like the highways. There are a lot of very intelligent people who disagree on that point.