Goods movement/freight planning has been at the forefront of the YAMPO Transportation Planning Process since the YAMPO IMS Plan was developed in 1996. Freight planning undertaken by the YAMPO is designed to incorporate all freight transportation modes/services. These efforts are achieved through MPO technical work, local and regional forums, and Commonwealth and National initiatives. Traditionally, the freight sector has functioned exclusive of county government and YAMPO. It is our hope that through our continuing planning efforts and public education initiatives, such as this web page will strengthen the bond we now enjoy with the goods movement entities in the County and South Central Pennsylvania.
Two National (i.e., Class 1) and one regional/short line (i.e., Class II) rail freight companies operate within York County. They are Norfolk Southern Railway Corporation (Class I), CSX (Class I) and Genesee and Wyoming, Incorporated/Yorkrail (Class II). All three rail company networks are linked to one another comprising a seamless connection of rail track between the greater York and Hanover areas, and York City and the Cumberland County line. These rail services also operate or have access to transportation terminals at which products (in raw or finished form) can be transferred to rail or truck for local and regional deliveries.
RAIL FREIGHT FUNDING PROGRAMS
PennDOT Rail Freight Assistance Program (RFAP) - The RFAP provides financial assistance for the investment in rail freight infrastructure. The intent of the Program is to (1) preserve essential rail freight service where economically feasible, and (2) preserve or stimulate economic development through the generation of new or expanded rail freight service. Further, information can be obtained about the program from PennDOT.
Discretionary Funding (Major Capital Projects) - Congressional discretionary funds are available on a competitive basis for new rail construction, such as rail mainline extensions. These funds would be pursued directly through Federal channels and require much preliminary study and design work before they can be implemented. Though PennDOT would be involved in the project design, most of the project coordination would be handled through the Federal Rail Administration.
2009-2035 YAMPO Long Range Transportation Plan, Rail Freight Subcommittee Report - Besides short-term solutions that can be implemented like the RFAP, long-term solutions must be addressed as well. Long-term solutions were developed as part of the current development of the 2009-2035 YAMPO Long Range Transportation Plan. A rail freight subcommittee was formed to identify long term needs for rail freight services in the County. The Rail Freight Needs Report is one of 10 subcommittee reports completed for the 2009-2035 Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP).
HIGHWAY FREIGHT (TRUCKING)
Probably, the most visible mode of freight transportation both regionally and nationally comprises the highway-trucking variety. According to state government statistics, trucks carry 82-100% of all retail goods manufactured. Products carried most frequently by trucks in the Commonwealth include building materials, processed foods, farm products, finished metal products, lumber and wood products, animal feed and chemicals. As mentioned in the rail section, truck transportation plays a vital role in the transport of product intermodally (rail-to-truck connections). Additional information can be obtained about trucking operations in the Commonwealth from the Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association (PMTA) website. PennDOT has imposed restrictions for truck travel on some County roadways. The restrictions imposed on truck/trailer widths/lengths are provided in the PennDOT Trucker’s Guide to Pennsylvania. The guide/route restrictions map can be obtained through the PennDOT Sales Store.
SOUTH CENTRAL PA REGIONAL GOODS
In 2003, approximately $1.3 trillion of long-haul freight flowed through the South Central Pennsylvania region. In a call for the understanding of freight movement here, several Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) and Counties in this region formed a goods movement study task force to examine freight transportation issues. The task force commissioned the comprehensive study, titled South Central Pennsylvania Regional Goods Movement Study to assess current and future goods movement issues, and to develop recommendations and policies to improve or enhance such services. This study was completed in 2006.
Since the completion of the study, the GMS Task Force has been reformed as a forum to address specific issues raised in the GMS Study and develop recommendations for improvement. For further information about the GMS Forum, please contact Jeph Rebert, Senior Transportation Planner at this e-mail or call 717-771-9870 or 800-441-2025, 9870.