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Gray, Hidy applaud CSX rail-road expansion

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MASSENA - Local government officials have weighed in on the announcement that the rail-freight operator CSX Corp. will invest approximately $100 million toward improving its rail lines between Montreal and Syracuse.

The focus of the project is the construction of a trans-shipment center in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield in southwest Quebec, although CSX’s total investment of $107.3 million will include $14 million toward the expansion of its site in Massena, according to The Montreal Gazette.

“Any investment we see in the railroad around Massena is good news for Massena,” Supervisor Joseph D. Gray said. “It sounds like they’re spending a lot of money on the expansion, and if they can facilitate better rail service through Massena that will benefit us.”

Mayor James F. Hidy also applauded the project, seeing it as a good opportunity to improve transportation in the region, and thus, make the area more enticing to potential developers.

“It’s always favorable when a corporation is dedicated enough to our community to pump that much money into our facilities,” Mr. Hidy said. “You have to hope bigger and better things are on the horizon for (Massena).”

CSX officials expect the project to increase north-south commerce on the company’s local rail lines. “We believe this new terminal will provide immediate and long-term benefits to Quebec and to Salaberry-de-Valleyfield,” CSX Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Michael J. Ward said in a company press release. “The terminal will provide an anchor for the development of new business, helping boost the economy and create jobs while helping the environment and reducing congestion on the highways.”

Construction on the terminal in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield’s Perron Industrial Park is expected to begin this spring, and the terminal is expected to open in 2015.

Company officials declined to comment on how the project will expand the CSX site operations Massena.

“CSX does plan to make some improvements to its operations on the line between Syracuse and the Canadian border as a result of the planned development in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield in Quebec,” CSX spokesman Robert Sullivan said. “At this point, however, there are no specific projects to announce.”

Mr. Hidy also commended local efforts to construction a rail spur that would extend CSX lines to the Massena Industrial Park, which is a project of the Business Development Corporation for a Greater Massena. Mr. Hidy sees the construction of that rail spur as way to capitalize on the CSX expansion project in order to improve transportation and commerce in the region.

“Adding the rail spur will certainly help foster bringing new companies interested in the region to look at (developing business) in the industrial park,” he said.

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