UPDATED: New short line to take over NS's Delmarva Secondary

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WASHINGTON — Rumors you may have heard are true: Norfolk Southern will lease 162 miles of its Delmarva Secondary line in Delaware and Maryland to short line operator Carload Express. The new railroad, the Delmarva Central will be the fourth Carload Express short line, and doubles the mileage under the company's control.

The new railroad comprises two segments of the former Pennsylvania Railroad on the Delmarva Peninsula. The main track runs from Porter, Del., about eight miles south of Newark, Del., to Pocomoke City, Md. The second line branches at Harrington, Del., and runs to Frankford, Del. Delmarva is short for the three states that occupy the peninsula between Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean: Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia.

An NS spokesman says the Class I railroad selected Carload Express because of its ability to turn around underperforming lines, with a carload growth of 40 percent in the past six years. The spokesman says Norfolk Southern executives expect to file documents on the deal with the Surface Transportation Board by the end of 2016.

Carload Express, based in Pittsburgh, operates three lines in Pennsylvania and Ohio, the Allegheny Valley, 77 miles on three lines that radiate from Pittsburgh; Southwestern Pennsylvania Railroad, 66 miles from Greensburg to Smithfield, Pa.; and the Ohio Terminal, 13 miles in Monroe County, Ohio.

Two other short lines already operate on the Delmarva Peninsula. The Bay Coast Railroad operates from Pocomoke City, Md., to Cape Charles, Va., with barge service to Norfolk, Va. Barge service has not operated for lack of business for several years. The Maryland & Delaware operates three branch lines from its base in Federalsburg, Md.

Calls to a Carload Express representative late Tuesday were not immediately returned.

CORRECTION: The Bay Coast Railroad operates to Cape Charles, Va. The endpoint city was incorrectly stated in an earlier version. Oct. 19, 2016, 10:31 a.m.
CLARIFICATION: Norfolk Southern executives expect to file documents with the Surface Transportation Board by the end of 2016.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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