A $32.5 million state investment in 38 rail projects in 28 counties will upgrade and add capacity, stimulate local economies and provide as many as 2,500 jobs, Governor Edward G. Rendell announced at a York manufacturing and distribution facility recently.

Receiving a portion of the investment are two area organizations, Air Products and Chemicals Inc. and the Pennsylvania Northeast Regional Railroad Authority, which will receive funds through the Rail Freight Capital Budget/Transportation Assistance Program.

"Transportation investment equals jobs," Rendell said. "The rail freight projects being funded across the state today will help companies create good-paying jobs and inject billions into local economies. These grants are excellent examples of how public-private partnerships can benefit businesses, workers and communities."

Air Products and Chemicals Inc. will receive $1.8 million to replace railroad ties, crossings, a bridge and tunnel lining, raise track and relocate obstructions in Carbon and Luzerne counties, according to the press release.

The Pennsylvania Northeast Regional Railroad Authority will receive $1.3 million to acquire remaining mainline track to allow for the growth of existing and new rail traffic for the Marcellus Shale industry, as well as remove salt and corrosion on bridge downspouts and a rail bridge. This project will take place in Monroe and Northampton counties, the press release states.

More than two-thirds of the funding, $23.9 million, will come from the 2010-11 Rail Capital Budget/Transportation Assistance Program funded through state capital bond dollars approved in the General Fund budget.

The remaining $8.6 million comes from the 2011-12 Rail Freight Assistance Program, which is provided through the state's General Fund. Both grant programs, which are authorized by the General Assembly, are administered by PennDOT's Bureau of Rail Freight.

For more information or a complete list of recipients, visit www.dot.state.pa.us and click on "News releases" on the right side of the page, or call (717) 783-8800.