On May 12, 2021, the Ohio Rail Development Commission approved a grant in the amount of $249,600 to the City of Medina to make improvements to its rail line and replace a deteriorated grade crossing surface. The City of Medina’s share of the cost is $62,400. The total project cost is $312,000 and involves grading, drainage improvements, tie replacement and ballast installation to remediate a low spot in the track. The project also involves the replacement of an adjacent grade crossing surface.
The City of Medina obtained a 99-year lease on a 3.8-mile rail line in the city (from the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad) more than 30 years ago. The line currently serves three customers in the city: Osborne, Kokosing Materials, and Spray Products, Inc. In total, these customers employ approximately 192 people. Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway (WLE) provides rail service on the line.
The project involves work to improve drainage at a targeted location on the line approximately 1000 feet in length. Poor drainage at this location has caused deterioration of the track structure. Virtually all traffic on the line must traverse the section of track, so it is critically important to ensure this portion of track does not deteriorate further, which could cause service interruptions to customers or safety concerns for WLE. In addition, the grade crossing surface at Liberty Street (state Routes 18 and 57) has deteriorated and is in need of complete replacement. Performing this work as a part of the larger project is more cost effective than undertaking one or the other alone.
Dennis Hanwell, Mayor, City of Medina, said “Providing continuously well-maintained local rail lines is an expensive, but essential economic development driver. Rail allows for not only the efficient delivery of a substantial amount of materials to our business partners, but also alleviates these loads from impacting our city streets and local traffic. The City of Medina Rail Consortium, a collaboration that includes the city and several business rail users, greatly appreciates the on-going technical and grant support it receives from the Ohio Rail Development Commission.”
“ORDC funding allows the City of Medina to address these concerns in a more comprehensive way, instead of continually addressing the effects of the issues on the line. We are happy to make an investment that supports area employers as well as improves safety to the traveling public with the replacement of the crossing surface at Liberty Street,” said Matthew Dietrich, Executive Director, ORDC.
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.