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7/1/2002



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

FRA approves third short-line-targeted RRIF loan




Federal Railroad Administration recently approved the third small-road loan to make it through the federal Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) program, according to American Short Line and Regional Railroad Associations' (ASLRRA) Views and News newsletter released July 1.


Mount Hood Railroad would receive a $2 million loan, which the 21-mile, Hood River, Ore.-based short line plans to use to fund infrastructure projects and refinance debt.


ASLRRA officials believe recent loan approvals to Arkansas & Missouri Railroad Co. (A&M) and Mount Hood Railroad are a sign that FRA and the Office of Management and Budget have agreed on loan-processing methodologies — opening the door to more small-road RRIF loans in the near future.


FRA in April approved A&M's $12 million RRIF loan after a nearly two-year-long application process; U.S. Department of Transportation and FRA in June 2001 approved a $100 million loan for I&M Rail Link, which enabled the 1,385-mile regional to recapitalize and invest some funds in infrastructure improvements.


RRIF, which was authorized by Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century, provides railroads $3.5 billion in loans (including $1 billion benefiting regionals and short lines) to improve infrastructure.


Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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