RUSH TWP. — A $2.6 million state grant for rail improvements at a Riverside area soybean processor will help create 30 full-time jobs at the Northumberland County business.

The grant to Boyd Station LLC was among $31.3 million in grants approved for 26 rail projects statewide and announced on Monday.

The business will use the grant to expand its rail infrastructure, construct four new tracks and install unloading equipment.

"The construction is going allow us to handle increased carloads and unit trains," said Bryan Cotner, Boyd Station president.

He said that will replace 25,000 trucks with rail freight over the next five years.

"In general, the project will allow us to continue our core mission of strengthening Pennsylvania agriculture and specifically support the rapid growth of organic poultry, egg and food production in Central Pennsylvania," he said.

He expects construction to begin in the spring and be completed this fall.

The approximately 30 new jobs will support the existing 50 employees currently employed at Boyd Station.

Boyd Station processes soybeans into feed and food commodities. The feed commodities are sold to Pennsylvania feed mills, while the food commodities — primarily organic vegetable oils – are sold to food manufacturers and food distributors throughout the country, Cotner said.

Gov. Tom Wolf announced the approval of the 26 projects on Monday, saying they will sustain more than 200 jobs across Pennsylvania. 

"Investing in our state's rail system creates jobs and supports efficient freight travel," Wolf said. "These investments help us build a world-class infrastructure system and support the business community."

The State Transportation Commission approved the $31.3 million for the projects through the Rail Transportation Assistance Program (RTAP) and the Rail Freight Assistance Program (RFAP).

Pennsylvania has 65 operating railroads, which is more than any other state. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is working with private rail operators and rail-served businesses to construct new rail lines and assist in maintaining and improving Pennsylvania’s roughly 5,600 miles of freight lines, according to a release from the governor's office.

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