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7/11/2005



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

FRA green lights $32.7 million RRIF loan for Iowa Interstate



Iowa Interstate Railroad Ltd. (IAIS) recently received Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) approval for a $32.7 million Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) loan.

The 500-mile regional plans to use proceeds from the 25-year loan to upgrade 300 track miles between Atlantic, Iowa, and Bureau, Ill., to accommodate 286,000-pound rail cars and increase train speed to 40 mph.

Already under way and scheduled to be complete by 2006’s end, the project includes upgrading bridges; extending and improving sidings; installing five miles of rail, 700,000 rail anchors and 183,000 ties; repairing several crossings; laying 200,000 tons of ballast; and grinding 40 track miles.

“This loan will enable the IAIS to eliminate deferred maintenance that occurred over the past 30 years and position the railroad to handle larger cars that have become the standard in recent years,” said IAIS President and Chief Executive Officer Dennis Miller in a prepared statement.

A Railroad Development Corp. subsidiary, IAIS operates between Omaha. Neb., and Chicago on lines formerly owned by the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad, which was liquidated in 1980.

The RRIF loan is the 10th approved by the FRA since the program was launched in 2001. The program authorizes the administration to provide $3.5 billion in direct loans or loan guarantees to eligible railroads (including $1 billion set aside for regionals and short lines), state and local governments, and government-sponsored authorities to acquire, develop, improve or rehabilitate intermodal or rail facilities.


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