Two rail companies with projects in Lakehurst and Manchester Township will get a portion of a $13 million state grant program announced Wednesday, state officials said.
Conrail and New Jersey Seashore Lines were among the dozen projects approved in the 2013 Rail Freight Assistance Program from the state Department of Transportation, which officials said is aimed at expanding freight rail service and maintaining current infrastructure.
Conrail will get $675,000 from the state for a $750,000 project to repair three bridges in Lakehurst, while New Jersey Seashore Lines will get $1.5 million, one of the largest single grants, for its line running through Lakehurst and Manchester and into Woodland Township in Burlington County.
“The Christie administration is committed to providing assistance to New Jersey’s freight railroads for improvements to and preservation of our rail transportation network,” said NJDOT Commissioner James Simpson in a statement. “The projects funded here will help advance a transportation strategy that strives to increase mobility and efficiency in the movement of goods in support of the state’s economy.”
The grants require sponsors—usually the railroad's owners, officials said—to put up 10 percent of the costs of the project, and sponsors are required to continue freight service on the improved line for at least five years after completion of the project.