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ECIDA Boosts County Railways

WNED-AM 970 NEWS [ View Original Article ]

By: Mike Desmond

Monday, August 23, 2010

BUFFALO (wned) - Erie County is doing some major repairs on its Southtowns railroad.

That's the line from South Buffalo down to Gowanda which is operated by the Buffalo Southern under a lease with the county and monitored by the ECIDA.

"We had some significant damage, obviously, down in the Gowanda area last year during the big flood," said ECIDA Vice President John Cappelino.

Some FEMA money was used for repair and restore service.

The rail line serves a number of Southtowns businesses and connects with another rail line in Gowanda into Cattaraugus County.

"It's a real benefit for communities to have that (rail access)," said Cappelino. "We do have a lot of rail infrastructure (in the Buffalo area)."

The Buffalo Southern is probably most visible when it's used to bring Strates Shows to the Erie County Fair and its sidings hold the circus train.

"We do get a lot of folks that come down and watch the 'Fair Train' unload," Capellino said.

There will be some significant replacements of those wooden ties which hold the rails, with more of the work in the Hamburg area.

Currently, the Buffalo Southern services a major concrete plant, a fertilizer plant and a propane operation, along with other customers along the line from South Buffalo to Gowanda.

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