Friday, September 25, 2009

Iowa Pacific Holdings seeks TIGER grants for two short lines

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Iowa Pacific Holdings says it has filed two TIGER Grantstimulus funding applications, one for each of two short line propertiesSouthwest. Each of the packages, if approved, will dramatically improve freighthandling capabilities and position the carriers to offer long-term,unsubsidized local passenger operations in their respective service territorie,the company says.

IPH seeks funds for improvements to its San Luis and RioGrande Railroad, serving south-centralColorado, including a new inland port facility to transfer products betweenrail and truck, new local passenger operations between local communities, andtrack upgrades to support heavier volumes and higher train speeds for passengeroperations. IPH claims the short line would commit to provide local passengeroperations at its own expense, without subsidy, for 20 years, linking SouthFork, Alamosa, and Antonito, Colo., with four trains per day.

A second short line, Arizona Eastern Railway, in partnership with Arizona’s Department ofTransportation, has developed a proposal to upgrade rail facilities andposition the carrier to divert thousands of truckloads of mining-relatedfreight from the two-lane highways and rural communities of southeastArizona.  Federal stimulus fundsare sought to develop a new rail spur to the Freeport-McMoran Safford minefacility and for new local passenger operations between Globe and Safford,Ariz.,  via the San Carlos ApacheReservation.