Railroads get the attention they need

The value of rails tends to get lost in the shuffle of transportation priorities locally. But that appears to be changing.

All the money was secured by late December for a new rail bridge to be managed by the Lycoming Valley Railroad at Loyalsock Creek in Montoursville. The former bridge was destroyed by Tropical Storm Lee in September 2011 and a replacement is important to the economy of our area, especially the Muncy-Montgomery-Montoursville corridor.

On a more long-term basis, rails were an important part of the 20-year transportation plan approved by the Williamsport Area Transportation Study in December.

Officials acknowledged, perhaps more than ever, that rail service is part of the long-term economic strategy for the area and hope to add to that portfolio in the future.

If railroad inventory can be revived – even for passenger service – in the future, the area’s economic attractiveness will be greatly improved in the next two decades. There tends to be a focus on bridges and roads because that’s what most people use, but rail accessibility will become more and more important in the future.

-Williamsport Sun-Gazette