Chamber: Functioning Railroad Crucial To Business Development

By: Melissa deCordova

NORWICH – Business development leaders met with an account representative of the New York Susquehanna & Western Railroad Wednesday morning at the Chenango County Chamber of Commerce to discuss re-opening a segment of the railway that has remained closed since the flood early this summer.

The handful of county businesses that rely on the NYS&W are all being served via the railroad’s northern line from Utica. Portions of the southern track between Chenango Forks and Sherburne suffered extensive damage, however, and were shut down.

Chamber of Commerce executives contacted the Cooperstown-based railroad to inform them of a business prospect that would rely heavily on rail transportation. The owners of an unnamed biodiesel plant have targeted property on state Route 12 South in the Town of Norwich and have been in discussions with the property’s owner for several months. According to the Chamber’s Business Development Director Maureen Carpenter, the Texas-based manufacturer is in the site development and engineering stages of the project.

The new venture would add 30,000 cars a year to the NYS&W line. “We told him (NYS&W’s account representative) what this business would mean to the railroad, and that we really need that line fixed for this customer,” Carpenter said. “They said they were very interested in fixing it and are willing to work with us.”

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