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12/17/2007



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Great Western Railway lands $4 million RRIF loan



The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has issued its third Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) program loan to a freight railroad this year, and fourth overall in 2007.

On Friday, the FRA announced the Great Western Railway of Colorado L.L.C. will receive a $4 million RRIF loan to help fund the construction of track connecting to an ethanol plant in Windsor, Colo., a new interchange with Union Pacific Railroad in Greeley, Colo., the rebuilding of two miles of track to accommodate longer unit trains and rehabilitation of other track. Owned by OmniTRAX Inc., the 80-mile Great Western provides service for 11 shippers to and from a 700-acre industrial park located between Windsor and Greeley.

Under the RRIF program, the FRA is authorized to provide $35 billion (including $7 billion set aside for regionals and short lines) in direct loans or loan guarantees to eligible railroads, state and local governments, and government-sponsored authorities to acquire, develop, improve or rehabilitate intermodal or rail facilities. Earlier this year, the agency issued a $58.9 million loan to R.J. Corman Railroad Group, a $48.3 million loan to the Dakota Minnesota & Eastern Railroad Corp., and a $72.5 million loan to Virginia Railway Express — the first RRIF loan issued to a commuter railroad.


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