Town of Manchester plans to revitalize a deteriorating freight train line

In places like Rochester, freight trains barrel along the train tracks several times a day. 

"Growing up, I loved watching them go by it's fun," said Stephanie Coffey, Manchester Resident. 

Not so in Manchester, Ontario County. Coffey and her nephew love to watch the trains, but they only come through once a week. 

"We'll hear them coming because the whistle's right down there and the little one likes to come out and watch them," said Coffey. 

The track that runs by their home is the Ontario County Freight Rail Corridor. It runs from Manchester, through Clifton Springs and eventually connect with the Finger Lakes Railway. The Town of Manchester is using an $80,000 grant from the Genesee Transportation Council to revitalize the freight line.

"It's much more environmentally conducive to ship by train than it is by truck," said Jeffrey Gallahan, Manchester Town Supervisor. 

Gallahan said the town's comprehensive plan will focus on utilizing more freight trains as a means for shipping goods in and out of the area. The line where the freight trains would run has been deteriorating since the 1970s. Gallahan wants to change that. 

"What we see is growth in our community is industrial type businesses that will support our local restaurants, our local grocery stores and our local business," said Gallahan. 

The project also includes refurbishing an old roundhouse used to turn trains around. 

For nearby neighbors like Brady who's onboard with the plan, there's just one exception, "We don't want those trains bothering us while we're sleeping."

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will do an assessment of the area this fall to make sure neighbors aren't impacted. Gallahan said those who live near the project site have been notified. 

An open house at the Manchester Town Hall will be held Thursday July 19th, from 6:30-8:30pm. People will be able to see and give feedback on the comprehensive plan as well as talk with town officials. 

 


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