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2/23/2006



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Iowa Interstate scores second RRIF loan to purchase 22 locomotives



While Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad Corp. awaits word from the Federal Railroad Administration on its second Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) loan application, Iowa Interstate Railroad Ltd. (IAIS) already has received an FRA thumbs up on its second loan.

The 552-mile regional will obtain a $9.35 million RRIF loan to purchase 22 GP-38-2 locomotives from GATX Rail. IAIS leased the power from GATX last year.

The regional applied for the loan in October and learned the FRA approved its application in January — a very quick turnaround, says IAIS President and Chief Executive Officer Dennis Miller.

In July 2005, the regional obtained a $32.7 million RRIF 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.

The RRIF program authorizes the FRA to provide $35 billion in direct loans or loan guarantees to eligible railroads (including $7 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.

Jeff Stagl


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