Six Short-Line Railroads in Central PA Report Business is Up 40 Percent Because of Marcellus Drilling

MDN previously reported on two short-line railroads that have seen their prospects dramatically improve with Marcellus drilling activity in Pennsylvania—the Wellsboro & Corning Railroad and the Reading & Northern Railroad. You can now add six more short-lines to the list—all of them owned by the North Shore Railroad Company.

A system of six railroads in northcentral Pennsylvania, including the Lycoming Valley Railroad Co., is enjoying a 40 percent increase in business over last year’s first quarter, said chairman and CEO Richard Robey.

“We have seen a substantial increase in business related to the Marcellus Shale gas well drilling,” Robey said Wednesday.

Before that, the recession had sliced the railroads’ business by nearly 20 percent, as it hauled fewer loads of iron and steel products and scrap, food stuffs and plastics to manufacturers, he said.*

Once again the main product being hauled is sand, which is mixed with water and chemicals and injected into well bores as part of the process to free trapped natural gas from the shale.

*Charleston Daily Mail (Mar 31) – Railroads booming with Marcellus Shale business