Ontario Midland Strategic Plan
Ontario Midland Strategic Plan
Wayne County, in partnership with Genesee Transportation Council (GTC), along with several local municipalities and agencies are working to create a strategic plan for the Ontario Midland (OMID) Short Line Railroad. With rail freight volumes increasing around the region, and local employers using rail to ship more goods, the OMID Strategic Plan is focused on determining new rail-oriented economic opportunities for local businesses and residents.
The OMID Short Line Railroad is located primarily in Wayne County and is operated by the Ontario Midland Railroad Corp. It connects with a regional distribution network with the potential to have regional, national, and international impacts with connections to the CSXT line stretching across the state from Port of Buffalo to the Port of New York and beyond across the United States.
The OMID Short Line Railroad service started October 1, 1979 shortly after Conrail abandoned the "Hojack Line". Wayne County took possession of the line shortly after, and since then has contracted with OMID to operate and maintain the line which currently serves approximately 850 cars and maintains 47 miles of track.
The railroad has experienced varying levels of activity over its 100+ year existence, and in more recent decades has supported numerous local businesses and manufacturers. While the County has maintained ownership and the line is used, a plan for higher utilization of this valuable asset including identification of opportunities has never been developed.
To continue leveraging the economic advantages of the railroad, the OMID Strategic Plan will include the development of target area plans that take advantage of existing rail infrastructure assets along the rail corridor to encourage and facilitate new rail-oriented businesses and manufacturers. The final plan will provide a clear path to increased utilization of the railroad through a combination of asset improvement recommendations and identification of locations ideal for private sector investment.
The project team presented final site selections and the draft recommendations and accepted comments from the public at an in-person public open house on Tuesday, June 8, 2021 from 6- 8pm at the Williamson Town Hall.
For more information regarding this project please contact Brian Pincelli, Wayne County Director of Economic Development and Planning at [email protected] or Jody Binnix, GTC Program Manager at [email protected]
Recommendations are divided into three groups. For additional information on each recommendation please see OMID Recommendations - Working Draft for Review in the Documents section.
Baseline recommendations include rail infrastructure maintenance and improvement items with the goal of maintaining and upgrading (where necessary) the existing OMID system to a state of good repair. These recommendations were primarily developed with consideration of the assessment of the existing OMID system (Technical Memorandum #1) and in consultation with the Ontario Midland Railroad Corporation. In addition, these recommendations assume two conditions: (1) Existing rail operations and customers in place; and (2) A hypothetical new customer in the Wolcott area that would be served via the eastern leg of the T-shaped OMID system.
Strategic recommendations include planning/collaboration, marketing & promotion, targeted development, and infrastructure improvement strategies and projects. These recommendations would enhance the competitive advantage of the OMID system and bring new rail-oriented business to the OMID corridor and Wayne County. These recommendations were developed with consideration of the Inventory and Analysis of Existing Conditions (Technical Memorandum #1), Rail Enabled Business Opportunity Analysis (Technical Memorandum #2), GTC Transportation Strategies for Freight and Goods Movement in the Genesee-Finger Lakes Region, NYS Freight Plan, local and regional land use, strategic, and economic plans, and in consultation with the Project Steering Committee.
Target Area Recommendations
Target area recommendations focus on specific areas/sites within the four geographic areas of the OMID System: West, Central, East, and South. In conjunction with strategic recommendations, these recommendations would facilitate new rail-oriented development by enhancing the competitive advantage of the OMID system. These recommendations focus on strategies and projects for rail and road infrastructure and site access, utility infrastructure, land use and zoning policy, publicly-owned land, and existing industrial parks and zoning districts. In addition, known environmental remediation concerns were considered for those sites identified as having suitable characteristics in Chapter 4.
Similar to strategic recommendations, these recommendations were developed with consideration of the Inventory and Analysis of Existing Conditions (Technical Memorandum #1), Rail Enabled Business Opportunity Analysis (Technical Memorandum #2), GTC Transportation Strategies for Freight and Goods Movement in the Genesee-Finger Lakes Region, NYS Freight Plan, local and regional land use, strategic, and economic plans, and in consultation with the Project Steering Committee.
Ontario Midland Strategic Plan - Site Review
Wayne County, in partnership with Genesee Transportation Council (GTC), along with several local municipalities and agencies are working to create a strategic plan for the Ontario Midland (OMID) Short...
The Ontario Midland #3 on the move in Wayne County a year ago, on October 25, 2019, near Fairville Station amidst fall splendor.
Photo credit: John Kucko Digital