The Youngstown and Southern Railroad, a 36-mile short-line railway that runs through Boardman to Darlington, Pa., has been sold for $3 million by the Columbiana County Port Authority to a subsidiary of MarkWest Energy Partners, a major player in the Marcellas and Utica shale boom in Mahoning and Columbiana Counties.
The deal was announced last week by Tracy Drake, director of the port authority.
The long-troubled railway is unsafe enough to require cars traveling along it to move at no more than 10-miles-per-hour.
About 15 years ago, the rail line was purchased by Railroad Ventures of Boardman for some $750,000. Railroad Ventures headed by the owner of the Shops at Boardman Park, Dave Handel, tried to abandon the line and joined with Boardman Township and Boardman Park in efforts to create a bikeway.
However, Drake and the Ohio Rail Development Commission opposed abandoning the line and forced the sale of it to the port authority for some $1.1 million ten years ago.
Prior to the current sale, the port authority had to pay more than $6000 in back taxes that had accrued.