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.