Strasburg Rail Road gets grant money for project to move freight services

Lancaster

STRASBURG, Pa (WHTM) – The Strasburg Rail Road is known for its steam powered-locomotives that offer a step back in time.

“Our hope is that when you come here and you step out of your car, you’re walking into a 1915 rail yard,” said Stephen Weaver, vice president of roadway for Strasburg Rail Road.

The railroad has recently seen a massive boost in its freight service which hauls grain, lumber, and agricultural products.

“We went from a couple dozen rail cars a year here to over 500 in 2019,” Weaver said.

Weaver said the freight operations help to pay the bills. However, both the tourist services and the freight services share the same yard in Strasburg Township.

Weaver said both services are maxed out as to what they can do. The Strasburg Rail Road is planning to move its freight services to a location just off of Route 30 in Paradise Township.

Gov. Tom Wolf recently announced the project to move the freight services would get a $1.7 million grant.

“The whole project is phased,” Weaver said. “We expect it to create 16 jobs through the course of it.”

Weaver stressed the grant money would not go toward tourist operations, but he said ultimately moving the freight operations would give the railroad more space to expand services.

Weaver said he anticipates groundbreaking on the Paradise Township location in spring.

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