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Norfolk Southern (NS) recognized the Owego Harford Railway, Inc (OHRY) with a Platinum Business Initiative Award at the 10th Annual Shortline Meeting held in Roanoke, Virginia on July 10-12, 2011. The Platinum Business Initiative Award recognizes those railroads who increased their rail traffic by at least 1,000 railcars. OHRY achieved this milestone via significant increases in the transport of frac sand and drill pipe. OHRY was recognized at the 9th Annual Shortline Meeting with a Gold Business Initiative Award for increasing traffic by at least 750 railcars.

(c) 2010 WBNG News
Owego, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The Owego Harford rail line will undergo some improvements soon. The 26-mile track runs mainly along Route 38 in Tioga County. It has seen an increase in traffic over the years, and is expected to see a boom in the next few.

It's a $1.2 million dollar investment the State of New York is making in the Owego-Hartford Railway -- a wise investment say businesses who utilize the line.

Controller Steve May says the funding will help him add secondary lines, revitalize and upgrade tracks and bridges.

Upstate Shredding is one of his biggest customers. It says the improvements will improve their business.

"It can help us get a large amount fast, but it's also good for the area because it keeps a lot of truck traffic off the roads," says Adam Weitsman of Upstate Shredding.

It's not just good for businesses already servicing Owego-Harford. It could invite others to do the same.

"There will be more investment in our community, which of course always leads to jobs," said Doug Barton, Tioga County Economic Development.

One of the initial investments Tioga County expects are those from a growing industry in the Twin Tiers -- "the gas industry," Barton said. "The products that they use -- from pipe to sand, all can be transported by truck or by rail. But, of course, it's much more efficient by rail."

There are a few companies along the track which provide infrastructure for wells being drilled not far away.

"It's indicative of the impact that the natural gas industry in Pennsylvania is having on us being so close to them," Barton said.

By 2012, Owego-Harford expects to carry 5- to 6-thousand cars on its tracks.

"We're going to continue growing our rail business here so as the rail business grows, we can grow alongside it," Weitsman said.

When Owego-Harford took over the line in 1994, it carried only 30 cars. May says work will begin after the state grant arrives, which he says could come around springtime.

Norfolk Southern recognized the Owego Harford Railway with it's Gold Award for Business Initiative at the 9th Annual Shortline Meeting in Roanoke, VA. Mr. Steve May, OHRY President, accepted the award at the closing dinner on June 13th, 2010 held at the Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center. The Gold Award recognizes those railroads with at least a 750 car increase in rail traffic. "Even in tough economic times, the capacity of Norfolk Southern when combined with the hands-on service of OHRY provides a powerful team to foster business growth," said Mr. Jim Raffa, OHRY, VP Sales. Call (607) 687-6992 for more information.

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