ALL ABOARD!

Delaware-lack­awanna Rail­road opens new en­gine house in city

The Times-Tribune - - FRONT PAGE - BY DAVID SIN­GLE­TON STAFF WRITER

SCRAN­TON — The par­ent com­pany of the Delawarela­ck­awanna Rail­road for­mally opened its new state-of-theart en­gine house in the city’s Green Ridge sec­tion Thurs­day, but­tress­ing its com­mit­ment to rail op­er­a­tions lo­cally.

The fa­cil­ity, known as the Von Storch Lo­co­mo­tive Shops, rep­re­sents a more than $2 mil­lion in­vest­ment by Ge­ne­see Val­ley Trans­porta­tion Co. Inc.

As dozens of in­vited guests and GVT em­ploy­ees watched and ap­plauded, the Delawarela­ck­awanna 405 diesel lo­co­mo­tive slowly eased into the cav­ernous build­ing in the 1500 block of Von Storch Av­enue, break­ing a cer­e­mo­nial blue rib­bon strung across the en­trance.

GVT Pres­i­dent David Monte Verde said when the Delaware-lack­awanna be­came the op­er­a­tor for what is known to­day as the Penn­syl­va­nia

North­east Re­gional Rail­road Author­ity in 1993, it had three lo­co­mo­tives and hauled about 1,500 rail­cars.

The rail­road moved 9,500 cars last year, and it now runs 18 lo­co­mo­tives on a daily ba­sis, he said.

“It’s a pretty busy lit­tle rail­road,” Monte Verde said.

GVT said the new Von Storch shop had be­come an op­er­a­tional ne­ces­sity for the com­pany be­cause of the growth in rail traf­fic.

It re­places a much smaller shop in South Scran­ton that was built in 1988. That fa­cil­ity will be re­tained and used as a cen­tral hub for hous­ing and main­tain­ing track main­te­nance equip­ment, the com­pany said.

The Green Ridge fa­cil­ity will serve as the pri­mary re­pair shop for lo­co­mo­tives across the GVT sys­tem. The com­pany, which is based in Batavia, New York, op­er­ates three other rail­roads in New York that have 17 lo­co­mo­tives among them.

“What’s also good for Scran­ton and this shop is when those lo­co­mo­tives need ma­jor over­haul, we bring them here,” Monte Verde said.

Larry Mal­ski, pres­i­dent of the PNRRA, said the fa­cil­ity will open up an­other op­por­tu­nity for GVT: re­build­ing lo­co­mo­tives for other rail­roads.

“It re­ally is al­most like a new in­dus­try . ... That’s a big busi­ness, but you have the fa­cil­ity to do it,” he said.

As the op­er­a­tor for the PNRRA, the Delaware-lack­awanna hauls ma­te­ri­als for in­dus­tries served by the author­ity, which owns al­most 90 miles of track, mostly in Lack­awanna and Mon­roe coun­ties.

The new lo­co­mo­tive shop is part of the author­ity’s Green Ridge Yard and stands near the site of a former Delaware & Hudson roundhouse built in the 1800s.

Con­tact the writer: ds­in­gle­ton@timessham­rock.com; 570-348-9132

JA­SON FARMER / STAFF PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

Em­ploy­ees from Ge­ne­see Val­ley Trans­porta­tion Co. Inc., the par­ent com­pany of the Delaware-lack­awanna Rail­road, and guests gather Thurs­day as the Delaware-lack­awanna busi­ness car train pulls into the new Von Storch Lo­co­mo­tive Shops in Scran­ton.

JA­SON FARMER / STAFF PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

The Delaware-lack­awanna busi­ness car train breaks the blue rib­bon as it pulls into the Von Storch Lo­co­mo­tive Shops.

JA­SON FARMER / STAFF PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

David Monte Verde, pres­i­dent of Ge­ne­see Val­ley Trans­porta­tion Co. Inc., cen­ter, speaks dur­ing Thurs­day’s grand open­ing of the Von Storch Lo­co­mo­tive Shops. From left, Lorie Ran­som, su­per­in­ten­dent; John Her­brand, sec­re­tary and gen­eral coun­sel; Monte Verde; Michael Thomas, VP busi­ness di­vi­sion, and Char­lie Monte Verde, direc­tor of gov­ern­ment af­fairs and plan­ning.

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