Rail removal firm will pay Montco to complete work

NORRISTOWN — The Montgomery County commissioners normally are spending money when they award contracts.  

However, a contract recently awarded by the commissioners will put money into the county’s coffers. 

The county contracted with Railroad Resources and Recovery of Bethlehem to remove 2.4 miles of railroad track materials, including wooden ties and steel tracks, along the western border of the county’s Lorimer Park in Abington. 

The company will pay the county $205,100 for the job and materials it removes. 

“With the price of steel these days” responded county regional trails manager Rich Wood, explaining why the company would pay the county for the work. 

The county has entered into a nominal lease with SEPTA to use the land for a hiking and biking trail. 

SEPTA in 1983 “temporarily suspended” commuter rail traffic on the line, which extends from Fox Chase to Newtown in Bucks County. Since that time, despite pleas from some to reactivate the line, parts of the rail line have been paved over. 

The section of the rail line that involves the county contract begins on the Rockledge border and extends to Huntingdon Pike. 

This will be the first phase of the proposed Pennypack Trail, which eventually will extend farther north into Upper Moreland and Bryn Athyn where it will link with the county’s Cross County Trail as well as trails in Bucks County, according to Wood. 

The company will have 90 days to complete its work, Wood said. 

The final design and engineering work for the trail should wrap up by the end of the year. Construction of the crushed stone trail will get under way in the spring.