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North Shore Railroad and Sen. Gene Yaw Host Public Officials and Customer Appreciation Train Ride
October 24, 2013
WILLIAMSPORT – Today the North Shore Railroad Company (NSHR) and State Senator Gene Yaw (R-23) were joined by more than 80 participants for the first Public Officials and Customer Appreciation Train Ride.
“Today the North Shore Railroad Company is comprised of six short line railroads, but when we started operations in 1984, we consisted of just two railroads and a handful of employees,” said North Shore President and CEO Gary Shields.
“Almost three decades later, we have nearly 100 employees, service more than 100 unique and diverse customers throughout an eight county area in central Pennsylvania. We organized this train ride to recognize the tremendous support that we have received from our public officials, loyal customers, and of course, the excellent working relationship we have forged with the SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority, which makes our continued growth and success possible,” he said.
The SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority (JRA) was formed in 1983 with the core mission to preserve and promote rail service in central Pennsylvania. Shortly after the JRA was formed, the NSHR was competitively selected to operate, market and maintain rail service on the system. This makes the owner-operator relationship between JRA and NSHR one of the most unique in the country.
“Over the past 30 years, this unique public-private partnership has preserved rail service to nearly 100 companies thereby retaining or creating 8,000 quality jobs,” said Jeff Stover, Executive Director for the Joint Rail Authority. “The efforts of the JRA, private operator, customers, and our many partners have worked to expand and improve a regional freight rail network that is second to none.”
The public official and customer appreciation train departed from the Newberry Yard in Williamsport and traveled northwest to South Avis via the Lycoming Valley Railroad. This provided a snapshot of completed rail projects, customer operations, and continued business opportunities along just one portion of the overall rail system.
“As we travel along the NSHR system, the amount of business development and continued business opportunities for the region become plainly evident,” said state Senator Gene Yaw (R-23). “Rail service is a critical link for the state’s manufacturing sector and I am proud to represent an important piece of that invaluable transportation network.”
The North Shore’s customers produce commodities so diversified that the railroad’s business is not adversely affected by a downturn of one or even several commodities that NSHR handles. Car loadings for 2013 alone are projected to be 72 percent above car loadings for 2008, showing the continued growth in the region.
“Jersey Shore Steel recently celebrated its 75 anniversary, and as with any longstanding business, the availability of affordable and reliable transportation of both raw materials and finished goods is essential,” said David Schultz, Vice President of Operations for Jersey Shore Steel. “The NSHR worked with us to expand critical rail operation to our South Avis facility. And while the NSHR continues to increase carload volumes and attract new customers across their system, we have never suffered a lapse in service.”
The North Shore Railroad Company (NSHR) is owned and operated locally, helping shippers transport globally. The NSHR is comprised of six short line railroads – Juniata Valley Railroad, Lycoming Valley Railroad, Nittany & Bald Eagle Railroad, North Shore Railroad, Shamokin Valley Railroad and Union County Industrial Railroad. We provide quality rail service to a variety of businesses and industries located in Central Pennsylvania.
Melissa Britcher, (717) 805-7883 (North Shore Railroad Company)
Arnie Kriner, (570) 322-6457 (Sen. Gene Yaw)