WELLSBORO - The Wellsboro and Corning Railroad took delivery of four SD 40-2 locomotives last month, and the burgeoning Marcellus Shale natural gas industry is the main reason the powerful locomotives are needed.
According to Tom Myles IV, chief financial officer of the Myles Group, owners of the railroad, "The additional power is necessary to support the demands of the growing gas related industries in Pennsylvania. Because the need for transportation of gas-related products is so great, we have added the locomotives to increase the ability to run longer, more economical and environmentally sound trains."
The units, delivered March 11, are equipped with 3,000 horsepower turbo-charged, V-16 engines, which use microprocessors for efficiency, he said.
Four new locomotives arrived at the Tioga Junction last month, needed, according to their owners, the Myles Group, to aid in the growing Marcellus Shale gas industry in Tioga County.
"These six-axle locomotives are capable of developing 92,000 pounds of tractive effort and are capable of moving 30,000 tons of materials each. The addition of these locomotives will increase the railroad's railcar moving capability by 120 car loads," he said.
The units came from the Quebec North Shore and Labrador Railroad in Canada, where they were used to haul iron ore.
According to Myles, the cost of the four engines "when all is said and done" will be more than $1 million, but the cost is justified by the need.
"The SD 40-2 is an excellent investment that will pay us dividends for many years to come," he said.
An ongoing track expansion at Tioga Junction is "on schedule," he said.
"In January, we completed a 2,000-foot section of track. This track expanded an existing siding and gave us a new 50-car runaround. Construction on an additional 5,000 feet of track, as well as a new 40,000-square-foot trans-loading pad, will begin this spring," he said.
Because each railroad car can accommodate four or more truckloads of material, it should reduce the truck traffic on the area's roads, he said.
"Studies show that moving product via rail is an economical and environmentally sound means of transportation," he added.
WCOR is a wholly owned subsidiary of Myles Group LLC. Myles Group began operating the railroad in January 2008 and purchased the locomotives to support its recent increase in business.
More information on the Wellsboro and Corning Railroad is available at www.WellsboroandCorningRailroad.com.