Rail grant expected to benefit Camp Chase Trail users

On May 16, the Ohio Rail Development Commission approved a grant in the amount of $654,410 to Camp Chase Railway to help with the rehabilitation of the line from Galloway to Lilly Chapel. The project will also reconstruct three crossings. The total project cost is estimated at $1.3 million.

The Camp Chase Railway (CAMY) operates 15 miles of track from interchanges with CSX and NS in Columbus to Lilly Chapel in Madison County. CAMY was acquired by Pinsly Railroad Company in 2023. With the majority of CAMY’s customers located closer to Columbus, for many years the western portion of the line was used solely for railcar storage. More recently, it has been utilizing a siding near Lilly Chapel to transload high-and-wide loads – primarily large equipment for electrical utility use throughout the central Ohio region.

The project will improve track conditions and help preserve this portion of the CAMY for future revenue service opportunities.

The Camp Chase Trail is directly adjacent to the CAMY for much of its length, so the replacement and rehabilitation work will also improve safety for trail users. Three at-grade crossings (Galloway Road, Darby Creek Drive, and Jefferson Street) in the project limits will be reconstructed as a part of the rehabilitation work. The crossing rehabilitation work benefits the traveling public, including bicyclists and other users of the adjacent Camp Chase Trail.

Matthew Dietrich, executive director of the Ohio Rail Development Commission, said, “Whenever we can assist our rail partners with projects that improve their existing infrastructure for businesses in Ohio and also make improvements to at-grade crossings that benefit the traveling public and increase safety, it’s a win for all involved. We are grateful for the railroad’s commitment to this project and wish them continued success in the future.”

The Ohio Rail Development Commission assists Ohio communities, companies, and railroads in creating and retaining jobs by preserving rail service to existing shippers and providing rail service to new customers. The Rail Commission also funds projects to improve railroad-highway grade crossings to increase safety for the traveling public.  Rail lines in Ohio are private property. Trespassing is extremely dangerous and prohibited.

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