BDC, Norfolk Southern partner for prosperity

BROOKE COUNTY, W.Va. — An economic development group and a well-known railroad company are partnering to help the Ohio Valley.They share a common goal of restoring prosperity and prominence and they have a plan to do it.Norfolk Southern and the Business Development Corporation of the Northern Panhandle have a common goal. They want to welcome in new businesses, generate new revenue and get trains moving through the Ohio Valley.“We began looking at what few sites we have that have rail access, what sites have the opportunity to get rail access and then engaged Norfolk Southern to not only improve the access to existing sites but also look at opportunities to create rail spurs for new opportunities,” said Pat Ford, BDC executive director.Norfolk Southern can play a huge roll in any turnaround, with over 25 miles of track, three rail yards, and two ports in Brooke and Hancock counties.“We need to work diligently to make sure that we have the best rail access available in the Ohio River Valley to stay competitive to get these industries to move into our area,” Ford said.Norfolk Southern has also been involved in two recent land purchases in the counties and one of them is located in Newell. “Newell Porcelain is a prime example of that. Newell Porcelain actually has a spur, but it hadn't been used for years, so what do we need to do to improve that spur and make that site attractive for a business or an industry,” Ford said. Pat Ford says the BDC is currently working with Norfolk Southern to create opportunities for approximately $2 billion of private investment in Brooke and Hancock counties.