The goHunterdon Board of Directors recently voted to support the Black River & Western Railroad in an application to the FY2024 Rail Freight Assistance Grant Program.
This grant program, administered by the New Jersey Department of Transportation, awards $25 million annually to railroads in the State for qualified capital projects.
The application requests approximately $1M toward maintenance and improvements to track in Flemington Borough, including replacing turnouts, rail, ties, and ballast, and to correct drainage issues between Church and Main Street and between Broad Street and the Ballfield crossing. Work will also improve the appearance of the railroad right-of-way.
The proposed project is precedent to several proposed community projects which include consolidating the Church Street and Central Avenue public grade crossings, a multi-purpose path, and access in the railroad right-of-way. The project would further support a proposed consolidated Church Street rail crossing and provide a potential relocation site for the historic Lehigh Valley freight station currently located on a parcel along Walter E. Foran Boulevard which is slated for redevelopment.
In its letter of support, the goHunterdon Board noted, “The proposed project will support ongoing rail efforts, increase connectivity within Flemington Borough, and support Flemington’s efforts to revitalize the commercial area around Central Avenue and Stangl Road, while embracing the town’s historic elements and charm.”
“Preserving rail history, bolstering a popular recreational train service, and increasing multi-modal access within the County seat made support of this application easy for the goHunterdon Board of Directors,” said Violet Kocsis, goHunterdon Board President.