Railroad chugging into 30 years of success
The Lycoming Valley Railroad is on the right track, providing the transportation of goods to industries across Central Pennsylvania for the past 30 years. The mile long rail yard, located at 421 Reighard Ave., can house up to 1500 rail cars, and is the largest rail yard between Harrisburg and Buffalo, N.Y.
The Lycoming Valley Railroad has been a part of the North Shore Railroad Company since August of 1996, and is a 48.7 mile short line that interchanges with Norfolk Southern in Northumberland and Canadian Pacific Railway in Sunbury. It is the largest short line on the North Shore Railroad Company system, according to North Shore Railroads website.
The website, also says that “the company is comprised of six short line railroads including Juniata Valley Railroad, Lycoming Valley Railroad, Nittany and Bald Eagle Railroad, North Shore Railroad, Shamokin Valley Railroad and Union County Industrial Railroad, that operate on tracks owned by the SEDA-CoG Joint Rail Authority.”
The Lycoming Valley Railroad has continued the success, providing rail services to many local businesses and industries across Central Pennsylvania. It supplies raw materials, scrap steal, utility poles, coal, plastics, grain and many other products to its 125 customers.
“A lot of the local manufactures rely on us for their raw material deliveries,” Director of Marketing, Todd Hunter said.
In 2008 the railroad was informed that something big was coming to the local area and that the railroad should get in on it, and that big thing was the Marcellus Shale.
“They were absolutely right that there was something big coming,” Hunter said.
That same year, the railroad handled it’s first car of frac sand. The railroad has benefited from the Marcellus Shale, because it has opened a world of new customers. Like customers in local industries, the railroad is able to deliver products right to the drilling site if it has rail sidings. If a business or site does not have rail siding, the railroad is able to work with it’s partners and transload the goods. This means that the train will transport the goods as close as possible to the destination, but trucks will take the goods from the train to the exact location. By using the railroad to transport the goods it saves wear and tear on the local roads, and is more environmentally friendly.
“I would rather see goods on railroads than on local roads,” Hunter said.
Customer service and safety are the key components when looking for employees on the railroad,
“We provide a service, it just so happened to be on tracks,” Hunter said.
Jobs are divided into three different categories, the first one being transportation and employment, which includes conductors, engineers and brakemen. The second department is maintenance away people, which include employees who maintain the track. Then there is the administration, which includes marketing, accounting, etc.
The railroad also sets aside 20 service days a year for community organizations to host fundraisers.
With it’s customer service mindset and new opportunities, the Lycoming Valley Railroad is sure continue chugging along.
For more information on the Lycoming Valley Railroad or the North Shore Railroad Company, visit www.nshr.com/.