The Kansas Department of Transportation is distributing $5 million in grants for 13 projects that will improve and/or construct a total of 15 miles of track under its new Short Line Rail Improvement Fund program. Four projects are for short lines; nine are for shippers.
The program is a partnership between the public and private sector; applicants are required to provide 30% in matching funds. The total investment for the new projects: $7 million.
The projects were selected based on long-term impact on rail operations, economic competitiveness and safety; enhanced goods movement and logistical improvements; job creation and the ability to expand currently served markets; and enhanced efficiency of rail operations and the reliability of the impacted railroad, according to KDOT.
Recipients of the Short Line Rail Improvement Fund:
- Cimarron Valley Railroad: $1.15 million for rail replacement and bridge work.
- Frontier Ag: Separate awards of $1.05 million and $875,000 for two siding extension projects.
- New Century AirCenter 159th Rail: $256,163 for major rehabilitation work.
- Scott Cooperative Association: Separate awards of $36,047 and $35,304 for two siding rehabilitation projects.
- The Scoular Company: $97,242 for siding rehabilitation and $71,306 for preservation and maintenance work.
- Skyland Grain LLC: Separate awards of $93,800 for siding rehabilitation, $220,851 for siding rehabilitation and extension work, and $24,500 for another siding rehabilitation project.
- South Kansas & Oklahoma Railroad (Watco): $417,591 for rail replacement.
- V&S Railway LLC: $674,407 for rail yard rehabilitation.
“KDOT recognizes the important role that rail plays in our state’s economy and the Short Line Rail Improvement Fund is another opportunity for us to partner with industry to help modernize and make needed improvements,” said KDOT Secretary Julie Lorenz. “Across all of our funding programs, KDOT is partnering on rail projects worth more than $102 million in 36 counties across Kansas.”