HARRISBURG, Feb. 25, 2014 – With freight rail service increasing in NEPA, state Sen. John Blake said today the Pennsylvania Northeast Regional Railroad Authority will be better able to help businesses move goods due to a substantial investment by the State Transportation Commission.

The commission today announced its approval of a $674,800 investment from the state’s Rail Transportation Assistance Program.

“This support will help the Pennsylvania Northeast Regional Railroad Authority add 7,700 linear feet of new rail and 8,000 ties, which will enhance regional capacity for rail-freight commerce,” Blake said.

“With the authority reporting a 6.5 percent increase in the number of carloads in 2013, this new infusion of state support promises to add to this growing segment of an otherwise struggling economy,” the senator said.

Blake said the volume of rail freight activity is a good historic barometer of how business is doing in a region, and said it is vital that we keep up with the demand and ensure reliable and safe rail infrastructure to serve local business.

“Add to that the authority’s announcement last month that more companies are looking to locate business along the Delaware-Lackawanna Railroad, this is a great time to be providing the PNRRA with this significant rail transportation investment,” Sen. Blake said.

The authority’s award was one of 32 across Pennsylvania totaling $34.7 million.