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Senator wants tax credit extended for railroads

Canandaigua, N.Y.- U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer was in Canandaigua Thursday pushing for legislation that would extend a tax credit for short-line freight railroads that many local businesses rely on.

He is pushing for the Short Line Railroad Rehabilitation and Investment Act of 2013, which extends the tax credit to railroads like the Finger Lakes Railway for infrastructure improvement projects through 2016.

Companies like Pactiv, a food packaging manufacturing company, rely on the Finger Lakes Railway to transport its raw materials and others rely on it to ship out finished goods to interstate railways, which then take their products to market.  

Schumer said theres a troublesome detour on the railway line that stifles growth.

"Because of 11.5 miles of missing railroad link cargo that comes from the west on the Finger Lakes Railway has to be diverted 383 miles- all the way to Selkirk and then sent back here through a southerly route to connect with the main CSX line."

Schumer said more than 5,600 rail cars a year are forced to use this 380 mile detour, which adds an extra two days to the route and an estimated $150 per rail car for the average Finger Lakes-based customer.
The Finger Lakes Railway has been negotiating with Norfolk Southern railroad to acquire an existing 11.5 mile stretch of track which has been abandoned for several years and is in need of repairs.  The legislation would extend federal capital financing for the infrastructure repairs and upgrades the Finger Lakes Railway needs to quickly bring this new line back into operation.

The tax credit expires at the end of this year.

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Washington Times