Curtis Tate Published

2 W.Va. Shortline Railroads Get Federal Funding For Upgrades

A train with two locomotives passes a parking lot with a highway in the background.
The Kanawha River Railroad operates past the West Virginia state capitol complex.
Curtis Tate/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The U.S. Department of Transportation is giving two West Virginia shortline railroads money for improvements.

The Appalachian & Ohio Railroad and the Kanawha River Railroad will receive as much as $16 million and $19 million, respectively.

That’s from the Federal Railroad Administration’s Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvement Program, made possible by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021.

The two railroads will use the money to rehabilitate track, locomotives, bridges and tunnels.

The Appalachian & Ohio operates 158 miles of track between Grafton and Cowen and hauls primarily coal. It interchanges with CSX.

The Kanawha River Railroad operates 385 miles of track from Columbus, Ohio, to Elmore, West Virginia, and hauls coal, chemicals, cement, aggregates and metals. It interchanges with Norfolk Southern and CSX.

The two awards are part of USDOT’s $1.4 billion total investment for 70 projects in 35 states.