By Shawn Magrath
Sun Staff Writer
CHENANGO COUNTY – Having been inoperable for 11 years, the 45.5 mile-long Utica Main Line which extends north to south through Chenango County is close to allowing freight trains to use the tracks again.
According to the Chenango County Industrial Development Agency, what’s keeping trains from operating now are the multiple defective crossing signals spanning the county from Sherburne to Greene.
CCIDA Director Steve Craig said $500,000 has been earmarked to have those signals repaired or replaced by the line’s proprietor, New York Susquehanna and Western. Presumably, that work will be done this year, he said.
Railroad repairs have been underway since 2016. Crews have expended $5.3 million on fixing and replacing 8,300 crossties, filling 32 washouts, resurfacing 16,900 feet of track, re-decking 36 bridges, and making any additional repairs along the way – all in the effort to reverse damage caused by heavy flooding in 2006 and 2011.