Hike funding

Local rail project receives $2.6 million in federal funding

The Elkhart & Western Railroad Company recently received more than $2.6 million in federal funding to upgrade its infrastructure and improve track safety and capacity.

The EWR is a short line freight railroad owned by Pioneer Lines that runs through Elkhart and St. Joseph County. The company received the grant through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements program (CRISIS) program.

According a letter of support from MP Jackie Walorski, the money will be used to rebuild railroad crossings at the intersection of Division Street and Waterfall Drive in Elkhart and at Apple Road and Cedar Trail in St. Joseph County.

The project will also bring 9 miles of mainline track to Federal Rail Administration Class 1 safety standards.

A liberation of Walorski’s office said the project should eliminate blocked crossings, alleviate traffic delays and congestion.

“EWR plays a key role in Elkhart’s manufacturing economy, and this funding will allow EWR to accommodate customer growth while improving safety and reducing blocked walkways in the community,” said Pioneer Lines CEO and President Alex Yeros said in the statement.

The letter of support indicates that EWR plans to seek additional funding from the Indiana Department of Transportation and matching funds from the City of Elkhart.

Contact Gemma at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter at @gemma_dicarlo.

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