Paper mill closure may affect short line

Maryland's Georges Creek Railway to lose major customer
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LUKE, Md. — The shutdown of the Verso Corp. paper mill here may affect the industrial switching activities of the Georges Creek Railway, according to the railroad's Gerald Altizer. The mill, which occupies 228 acres and has been in operation for 131 years, is scheduled to close on June 30. It employs 675 people from Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Altizer told Trains News Wire that the mill's woodyard is full and two warehouses are also filled with wood pulp materials. "They won't leave that to rot," he said. He expected the switching operation to continue for a month or two after the actual closure as the wood is moved out. "It all has to go somewhere else," he stated.

The mill produces about 450,000 tons of paper annually. Georges Creek Railway has switched the mill since 2007. Currently, the mill is switched daily with Alco T-6 No. 101, a former Pennsylvania Railroad unit.

In addition to the paper mill trackage, the Georges Creek Railway also owns 14 miles of the former CSX Transportation Georges Creek Subdivision. There are several currently inactive coal loading sites on the line.



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