New life ahead for Struthers railroad

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The P&LE Railroad in Struthers is getting new life thanks to Green Harvest Rail. The revitalized transportation hub could play an important part in the Valley’s economic development.

The gateway yard of the P&LE Railroad used to see heavy traffic through Struthers during the height of steel manufacturing in the Valley.  Until last year, the yard was barren and unsightly, a ghost of the heyday of the steel industry.

“It hadn’t been used in quite some time. As a matter of fact, it was an eye sore,” said Struthers Mayor Terry Stocker. “A lot of it had to do with vacant buildings left unattended.”

Green Harvest Rail purchased the property less than a year ago and cleaned it up. They are also restoring power to the area.

Bob Holmes with Green Harvest said the gateway terminal will be a transloading facility where different commodities and products will be transferred from different modes of transportation.

“We’d also like to help the small businesses who otherwise would not have rail access opportunities,” said Holmes.

Two class one rail lines and two short lines will be run by the terminal. According to Sarah Boyarko with the Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber, rail access is vital to about 80 percent of companies inquiring about the area.

“If a company calls in, they have all the specific parameters and you can meet every building requirement. But if you don’t have the transportation requirement, if you don’t’ have the transportation logistics they need, they’re not necessarily going to come to that location,” said Boyarko.

The Ohio Commerce Center in Lordstown offers rail access and Halcon Field Services recently proposed a $70 million oil storage and rail-loading terminal at that site to ship its oil showing how rail is playing a vital role in the Valley’s economic future.

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