News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Metro RTA

Akron Children's Hospital

Don Drumm Studios


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Environment


Once and future right-of-ways: A new path for Ohio's old rails
Left to rust in the woods, long forgotten rail lines may move Utica Shale play forward in eastern Ohio
by WKSU's TIM RUDELL


Reporter
Tim Rudell
 
Massive old rail yard reborn and refurbished just in time to serve the Utica Shale play in eastern Ohio
Courtesy of Ohio Commerce Center
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

Northeast Ohio is shot-through with old rail lines, sidings, loading docks and other rusted remnants of a faded industrial past. But these aging, often “brown-site” liabilities are becoming assets once again. WKSU’s Tim Rudell reports on the new life for the old rails.

Click to listen

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:59)


New Perspective
Dan Crouse is a real estate agent in the Mahoning Valley: “Today, my favorite listing is 70-feet wide and 22-miles long.  And, those are not unique in this valley, at all.”  Dan Crouse at Ohio Commerce Center

Crouse spends much of his now routinely 12-hour days searching out and marketing abandoned or unused railroad right-of-ways. “We’re trying to bring them to the attention of the oil and gas people--and we’ve been pretty successful--so that they can more efficiently develop without going through people’s back yards.  If you can go 22 miles talking to just two owners, that’s a lot more efficient than going 22 miles and talking to 200 owners; which is not uncommon.”  

But, why would oil and gas people, who lease blocks of land for drilling, be interested in long, skinny tracts?  For the reasons the Utica Shale play is in “slow play” by Chesapeake Energy and othrs who are drilling wells but holding off on taking them into production:  Logistics, and its close cousin, infrastructure.”

Shipping
Daniel Price of Savage Services, an industrial logistics company out of Utah, Savage VP Dan Pricesays drillers need construction and operating supplies where they’re working; and a  way to transport what they pump from the ground.

He says Ohio’s gas and oil development, which some analysts say is stalled, may leap forward because of the vast rail system left over from the steel and heavy industry…and because of where that system goes.

“They gotta have a way to get product into the well and get their product out of the well.  And you’ve got to connect those dots from the well head to the final destination, whether that be the east coast, the south, there’s really not too much going west.  But, the thing about Ohio, is once they start finding the crude, it will be a good outlet for the east coast.”   

Once and future
Price and Crouse are at Ohio Commerce Center, a once shuttered rail yard near Lordstown in Trumbull County.  Crouse represents the center; Price’s company is putting in a “trans-loading” facility there to serve drillers.

The place was built by the Army in World War II; and expanded by private owners so a 100-car train can be unloaded without uncoupling.  

Crouse says it is representative of an infrastructure from the industrial past that: can be re-purposed; and  is immense — Ohio once had about than 10-thousand miles of tracks and better than half of that is currently out of service. The historical infrastructure also includes some big surprises.  “If you just look at this site, as a microcosm, we have a million-gallon water lagoon out here. That before there was a high-pressure source of clean water, the Army put in a lagoon to store potable water. And it’s still here. And it’s going to have a use.” 

Routing
Two counties south, in Carrollton -- in the Tuscarawas Valley, Rod Hawksworth Rob Hawksworthhas finished a meet-and-greet with property owners.  He’s a manager of routing and permitting for the Bluegrass Pipeline that will take butane, propane and the like from wells in the Utica and Marcellus shales to the Gulf Coast. 

He says re-purposing old infrastructure…including railroad right of ways…is often part of siting a new pipeline. “Part of the strategy of locatingonce a railroad, now a bike and hike trail a pipeline route is to try to find out if there is a possibility of either paralleling or adjoining existing corridors so that we can follow along and eliminate the amount of disturbance that we create in the construction process.” 

Getting the attention
Commercial real estate agent Dan Crouse now works full-time on right-of-ways.  He says Utica Shale play companies — especially “mid-streamers” such as pipelines and processing plants like the half-a-billion dollar “fractionators” popping up in eastern Ohio — perk their ears on each new find of old rails in the woods.  Re-purposing right-of-way can dramatically cut development time.  And cost.  And, he says, because many old rail sites are “brownfields,” state or federal grant money could be available to help rehab them. 

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Nature and nourishment down by the river at the Metroparks' Merwin's Wharf
I love QUICKBITES! I look forward to it every week. One question: is it possible to include a link to the restaurant or store that you profile? Thanks!

Canton's proposed Timken-McKinley school merger is drawing spirited debate
From a sports opinion Varsity would have a lot more talent to choose from So Im sure varsity sports would improve.Also Timkens name would be much more published...

Canton school board will decide whether to merge high schools
I really hope we can save those jobs, usually we try to cut budgets but the demand is still the same. Then we look bad a year or two after the descion is made. ...

FirstEnergy wants PUCO guarantees on nuclear and coal prices
Would just comment that the plant has admitted the following (as reporting in the Akron Beacon Journal): "The utility has said it may have difficulty keeping t...

Mozzarella's easy when you have a way with curd
Hello, Where can I get such a heater that you have? Does it hold temperature that you set? What brand and model is it? Thank you in advance!! :)

Pluto: A healthy LeBron James is the key for the rocky Cavs
It's time to back our Cleveland professional teams through thick and thin. I've seen management, players and coaches come and go and it hasn't changed a thing. ...

Legal marijuana group offers new details about ballot issue
Americans feel as if they should have the right to decide on their own if and when it is or is not a responsible time to have a drink or smoke a joint. The fac...

The PUCO is assessing what happened in Akron's AT&T outage
not the first time for that steam pipe break... happened in the late 70's when the office was being converted to electronic switch ESS.. was a big mess then but...

The freeze of green-energy standards hurts Ohio wind and solar industries
What do we do at night and when the wind isn't blowing? Where does the power come from to back-up these renewable sources?

Gov. Kasich may still face budget battles with Ohio lawmakers
Governor Kasich continues to disappoint many of us who voted for him when he was elected Governor four years ago. It is way past time for charter schools to b...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University