Jefferson County, PA – Jefferson County is getting a $2.1 million grant to upgrade the freight railway that runs between Falls Creek and Brookville.

The funding comes from the Pennsylvania State Transportation Commission and will be used for the Brookville branch of the Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad.

The grant will provide upgrades for track and bridge portions of the 20-mile branch line between Falls Creek and Brookville. This part of the railroad is used specifically for shipments of Brookville Equipment’s railroad locomotives and restored light rail vehicles, including vehicles used by SEPTA.

Senator Joe Scarnati was proud to announce that his county would be receiving the grant.

“The Brookville Branch Service Retention Project is an outstanding example of a successful Public-Private Partnership,” Scarnati said.  “Today’s grant approval will have a tremendous impact upon our region.  The project will retain up to 150 skilled manufacturing jobs, improve distribution options for Brookville Equipment’s locomotive business and preserve freight rail service along the 20-mile route for existing and future use.”

Scarnati noted that Brookville Equipment Corporation has committed to matching funds for the project, which is estimated to cost a total of $3 million.

“We have been working to secure funding for this critical project since last year,” Scarnati said.  “I am very pleased that this substantial state investment has been approved, without which this rail line will be forced to shut down for safety reasons, jeopardizing the continued operation of Brookville Equipment and creating both an economic and service impact on public transportation in southeastern Pennsylvania.  In addition, this project is critical to Brookville Equipment’s utilization of displaced workers from General Electric’s former locomotive manufacturing facility in Erie.

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