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Schumer calls for extension of railroad tax credit

Rochester Business Journal
December 5, 2013

Food-packaging manufacturer Pactiv Corp. in Canandaigua and operators of more than 5,600 freight railroad cars would benefit if an expiring tax credit is extended, Sen. Charles Schumer said Thursday.

The Short Line Railroad Rehabilitation and Investment Act of 2013 is set to expire at the end of the year, potentially depriving Geneva-based Finger Lakes Railway of a tax credit valued at 50 percent of the cost to upgrade and maintain an 11.5-mile stretch of rail it wants to acquire, said Schumer, D-N.Y.

“The Finger Lakes Railway and the local businesses and customers that rely on it face a serious roadblock in ensuring cost-effective and timely shipping and receiving of products and raw materials on this railway network,” Schumer said in a statement following a news conference at Pactiv.

Pactiv and others rely on Finger Lakes Railway to transport raw materials and finished goods to interstate railways, Schumer said.

The local railway wants to acquire the 11.5-mile link to avoid diverting cargo shipped to and from destinations west of the track, Schumer said.

The link, owned by Norfolk Southern Corp., runs from Geneva in Ontario County to Lyons in Wayne County. It has been abandoned for years and is in need of significant repairs, Schumer said.

The 380-mile detour adds two days to the route and costs an estimated $150 extra per car per customer, he said.

The missing link adds $840,000 in costs annually for regional employers, Schumer said. The tax credit is worth as much as $3,500 per mile.

(c) 2013 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email

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