Williams announces $2.2M rail freight improvement project for Chester County

COATESVILLE, Dec. 12 – State Rep. Dan Williams, D-Chester, announced a $2.2 million investment in rail freight infrastructure to improve sections of railway in Chester County.

The funding, approved Thursday, is part of a statewide effort to enhance freight mobility while creating or sustaining more than 390 jobs across Pennsylvania, according to an announcement from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

In Chester County, that means $2.2 million to ArcelorMittal in Coatesville to rehabilitate approximately 2 miles of track, turnouts and private crossings serving its rolling mill and electric melt shop sites.

According to its website, ArcelorMittal, a steel plate production facility, employs over 600 people at its Coatesville location and services various markets, including construction, aircraft and aerospace, military, shipbuilding, energy, distribution and more.

“This investment helps protect a Coatesville institution that pays livable wages to United Steel Workers union employees,” Williams said of the mill that has been in operation since 1810. “Improving the railways that serve this mill means this facility, which produces some of the widest, thickest and heaviest steel plates in the industry, will continue to be used in myriad projects across this great country.”

Governor Tom Wolf on Thursday announced 26 rail freight improvement projects statewide. Pennsylvania’s 65 operating railroads are more than any other state in the country.

In its release, PennDOT said its focus remains on working with private rail operators and rail-served businesses to construct new rail lines and assist in maintaining and improving the state’s roughly 5,600 miles of freight lines.