On March 18, 2020, the Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC) approved a grant award in the amount of $735,882 to Ashland Railway (ASRY) to expand its Mansfield Yard and perform a rail test and identified repairs along its Willard Line. This more than $1.4 million project will involve the installation of approximately 3000 feet of new track, the installation of seven turnouts, and related work to expand ASRY’s Mansfield Yard. Additionally, the project also involves ultrasonic Rail Flaw Detection (RFD) on 23 miles of ASRY’s Willard Line from MP 64 to MP 87 and replacement of rail identified as defective by the rail test.
ASRY’s expansion of Mansfield Yard consists of the reconnection of stub-ended tracks and the extension of several yard tracks to improve the operational efficiency of switching and blocking of cars and increase usable car storage in the yard. ASRY estimates that these improvements will open up 80 car spots in the yard. These gains in fluidity and storage directly benefit ASRY customers, including growing business from Next Generation Films located in Lexington, Ohio.
“The Yard rehab project will add much needed carload space, which will allow Ashland Railway to overcome a capacity problem that has been an issue in the past. It will allow for more car storage in the longer tracks, and the newly connected rehabbed tracks will be used for switching and blocking of cars to increase operational efficiency,” said Bob Thompson, Roadmaster, Ashland Railway.
Matthew Dietrich, Executive Director of the ORDC, said, “this project is an excellent example of how investments in shortline railroads in the state have positive economic impacts on the region. By improving the rail infrastructure, ORDC is not only leveraging railroad investment but also improving the infrastructure needed to provide rail service to multiple companies in Ohio, “he said.
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