On July 15, 2020, the Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC) approved a grant award in the amount of $10,240 to the Indiana & Ohio Railway (IORY) and Hocking Valley Scenic Railway (HVSR) to repair the connecting track between the two railroads. The track is currently out of service, which is preventing the HVSR from receiving any new or refurbished passenger rail cars for its excursion operation. In addition to the ORDC funding, the Indiana & Ohio Railway will perform labor on the project and the Hocking Valley will contribute materials.
Matthew Dietrich, Executive Director of the ORDC, said, “This interchange track is Hocking Valley’s only connection to the country’s broader rail network. Ironically, without this connection the Hocking Valley Scenic Railroad would not have access to the cost savings that rail transportation provides to all rail-served businesses in the state. It is our goal that this investment ensures the Hocking Valley has access for decades to come.”
Charles Hunter, AVP of Government Affairs for Genesee & Wyoming (parent company of IORY) said, “We greatly appreciate ORDC and Hocking Valley (Scenic Railway) working with us to come up with a solution to this project. While we do not serve any freight customers along this connecting track, we recognize Hocking Valley as a non-profit that brings value to the community and the region and we wanted to come to a mutual solution to help them out.”