wsls logo

Bedford County leaders to discuss using train to deliver gas to Montvale oil tanks

Board of Supervisors will consider a resolution to complete a study on Monday

Bedford County leaders are discussing the possibility of delivering fuel by train.

BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. – Bedford County Administrator Robert Hiss said the Board of Supervisors will consider a resolution Monday to study whether they could refill oil tanks in Montvale by using the nearby rail line.

“It’s really one of those things where is it technically feasible but monetarily practical. And I think that’s something that that type of study would get into,” said Hiss.

He said the Colonial Pipeline shut down the tanks in 2018 because it was too expensive to rehabilitate that pipeline—and there’s a low chance Colonial Pipeline will reopen them.

The shutdown had a negative impact on the local economy and fuel supply. Dozens of Bedford workers lost their jobs.

Supervisor Bob Davis represents the Montvale area and said now they’re forced to transport fuel from Greensboro, North Carolina.

“You have truck drivers who once lived in Bedford, drove to Montvale, got the fuel, carried it to the various places where they dumped it and went home for the day. Now, they’re having to drive to Greensboro, get the fuel, bring it back, unload it; so, it puts in a very long day for them,” said Davis.

He told 10 News that along with creating highway hazards for drivers, it becomes a security issue.

“Let’s suppose there’s a blizzard or an emergency that the trucks can’t travel to Greensboro to get the fuel, or worse yet, Greensboro doesn’t have fuel. So, this area is definitely without fuel, and that’s certainly a security issue,” said Davis.

Hiss said there’s no word yet on how long the study would take or would the project would cost.

“The goal of Monday night’s resolution is to engage with our local legislators in order to move this ball forward,” said Hiss.

About the Author:

Tim Harfmann joined the 10 News team in September 2020 and works at the station's Lynchburg bureau.