Strasburg vice-president of roadway Stephen Weaver told local media the project is expected to cost about $2.47 million. This includes a $1.7 million grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Transportation. “That was a real pick me up,” said Weaver of the state funding.
In September, the railroad purchased 4.1 acres adjacent to Amtrak’s Keystone line, at the far end of the railroad’s interchange track with Norfolk Southern, which handles freight on the Amtrak line. Initial construction will include a couple of team tracks, with more to follow in phases, Weaver said.
An additional three acres has been leased by Capital Forest Products, a shingle manufacturer expected to become a major customer. The railroad will also lease a strip of land from Amtrak to access the new yard. Work is expected to begin in in the spring.
Weaver said the new yard will allow the railroad to shift some of its freight business away from the current freight delivery yard across the main track from its shops at East Strasburg, away from the tourist train operations that are its bread and butter. The new yard, however, will allow the railroad to triple its freight business from the current 500 cars annually. Current traffic includes grain, lumber and agricultural products.