Fox announces freight
improvement grant to Salem County railroad
Transportation Commissioner Jamie Fox today announced that the New Jersey Department of Transportation has made a $350,000 grant available to Southern Railroad of New Jersey for track improvements.
“Rail freight is a life blood for commerce throughout the state and for Salem County in particular. Goods can be moved competitively in a manner that spurs economic development and helps to cut traffic congestion and air pollution by reducing the number of trucks on the road to do the same job,” Commissioner Fox said.
Earlier this month, the NJDOT signed an agreement with the Southern Railroad, which operates the Salem County-owned West Jersey Railroad. The freight line, which makes runs from Salem City to Swedesboro, serves Mannington Mills and Anchor Glass. As part of the agreement, Southern Railroad will provide $150,000 toward the project, which is expected to take three years to complete.
“There have been numerous derailments at Anchor Glass,” Fox added. “This grant will help facilitate safety improvements to a line that has not been upgraded in more than a decade.”
NJDOT supports a $10 million annual rail freight program for freight rail projects throughout the state.
Fox noted that several local officials were instrumental in securing the grant award, including Woodstown Mayor Jan Edwards and Woodstown Council members John Hall and Nick Wulderk, as well as Senator Stephen Sweeney and Assemblymen John Burzichelli and Douglas Fisher.
Sweeney and Burzichelli are members of their respective Transportation Committees. Fisher serves on the Budget and Agriculture and Natural Resources Committees.