Maryland short line to reopen stretch after 7 years

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SNOW HILL, Md. — The Maryland & Delaware Railroad expects to resume freight service between Frankford, Del. and Snow Hill by the end of June, as soon as final repairs are completed. Most of the 24-mile line has been dormant for seven years.

Local newspapers and television report the railroad has reached an agreement with Tyson Foods to provide freight service to the feed mill in Snow Hill. The line was shut down when Tyson switched from rail to trucks, according to Cathrin Banks, M&D president. "We've been working over the last several years to try to recapture that business and bring it back onto the railroad, and have finally succeeded in that," Banks says.

Officials in both Snow Hill and Berlin are pleased to have the trains return. "This will hopefully open up some opportunities for economic development that we haven't been able to think about for years," says Berlin Mayor Gee Williams. Snow Hill Mayor Stephen Mathews said he expects the resumption of rail service will allow Tyson to expand its operations.

Banks said the level of service will depend on Tyson's needs. The northern portion of the line from near Berlin to Selbyville, Del. had been used for freight car storage for several years. The only active customer was a propane dealer between the interchange with Delmarva Central at Frankford, Del. and Selbyville.

In addition to the Snow Hill line, the M&D operates two others, between Seaford, Del. and Cambridge, Md., and from Townsend, Del. to Worton and Centreville, Md. Both are owned by the state of Maryland and operated under contract. The company operates a total of 92 miles of track.
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