Delmarva Central plans to take over Norfolk Southern trackage



Click twice on image   to enlarge the Delmarva Central route map.

Delmarva Central  has filed with the federal Surface Transportation Board to lease and operate  Norfolk Southern  lines extending from Bear into  the Delmarva Peninsula.

 Delmarva Central Railroad Company,  a subsidiary of Carload Express Inc., plans to  lease and operate 162 miles of rail  line. Carload Express,  based in Oakmont, PA,  has openings for  a dozen employees at Delmarva Central.

One Delmarva Central route will run  from Porter, a railroad junction in the Bear-Glasgow area,  to Pocomoke City, MD; and from  Harrington to  Frankford.

The Porter area also includes Amtrak’s car maintenance shops.

Other independently operated lines that connect to Delmarva Central  serve  portions of Delmarva, including an a line in Virginia that feeds cars to a ferry across Chesapeake Bay.

The railroad  will be managed  from offices in Harrington, a longtime railroad town south of Dover.

 Freight operations will operate from Harrington, Seaford and Delmar.

The railroad stated on its website  that  it  would also work with shippers who do not have rail sidings, but want to combine rail and  truck service.

Trains magazine reported the Norfolk Southern chose Carload Express to operate the route, due to its ability to build revenue on underperforming lines.

Short line railroads are typically more aggressive in building traffic through more aggressive marketing efforts and better customer service.

The consolidation of railroads over the years into megacarriers  led to giants  like CSX and Norfolk Southern shedding shorter routes while focusing on large customers such as the Delaware City Refinery.

Norfolk Southern made millions of dollars in improvements to trackage to and from the refinery amid concerns about the safety of trains  carrying crude oil from the Bakken area of North Dakota.

 Rail shipments to the refinery have plummeted  as crude oil prices dropped brlow $50 a barrel.  PBF now gets more  oil via tanker

In the meantime, rail  traffic out of Delaware has declined over the years with the closing of both of the state’s auto plants.  

The  Delmarva lines are essential to the economy of the region, supplying grain for the poultry industry as well as propane, building materials  and bulk products.

Carload Express, also operates short line railroads  in  western Pennsylvania and a small area in Ohio.

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