Monday, April 16, 2012

Saskatchewan announces short line grants

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Saskatchewan's provincial government Monday announced C$700,000 in grants distributed among 11 short line railroads through its Shortline Railway Sustainability Program.

The "50-50 cost-shared infrastructure grant program, funded provincially by the Saskatchewan Grain Car Corp. and equally by eligible short lines, "is designed to improve provincially-regulated short line railways and can be used for projects such as track maintenance, railway tie replacements and bridge repairs," the province said in a statement.

"Our government recognizes short lines are an effective transportation alternative for grain producers and other shippers to get products to market," said Highways and Infrastructure Minister and Minister responsible for the Saskatchewan Grain Car Corp. Jim Reiter. "In addition to supporting economic development in rural Saskatchewan, short line railways help reduce heavy truck traffic and road wear on our highways."

"Funding for this grant program is consistent with last year, which increased 40% from the previous year," Reiter noted.

Grants were awarded to: Southern Rails Co-operative, based in Avonlead, C$35,000; Carlton Trail Railway, based in Prince Albert, C$76,382; Red Coat Road and Rail , based Viceroy, C$47,739; Great Western Railway, of Shaunavon, C$205,901; Thunder Rail, based in Arborfield, C$35,000; Wheatland Rail, based in Cudworth, C$35,000; Fife Lake Railway, based in Coronach, C$40,267; Torch River Rail, of Choiceland, C$35,000; Great Sandhills Railway, based in Leader, C$78,458; Last Mountain Railway, based in Regina, C$56,457; and Fillmore-based Stewart Southern Railway C$54,796.

"Our association appreciates the provincial government's ongoing commitment in supporting short line rail in Saskatchewan," Saskatchewan Shortline Railway Association President Conrad Johnson said. "These grants have provided the funding necessary to grow our transportation sector."