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9/10/2002



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Oregon short line receives RRIF check from FRA


Mount Hood Railroad is halfway there. The 21-mile, Hood River, Ore.-based short line Aug. 29 received a $1 million check from Federal Railroad Administration — about 50 percent of the Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) program funds Mount Hood is qualified to receive as a loan, according to American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association's (ASLRRA) newsletter released Sept. 9.


Mount Hood plans to use the funds to rehabilitate track to handle 286,000-pound cars and purchase a locomotive.


The short line will receive the remainder of the funds at a later date as it completes the track project, ASLRRA said.


FRA so far has approved three RRIF loans since the program began in fall 2000: I&M Rail Link in June 2001 was approved for $100 million (but the regional didn't close the loan transaction before it was acquired by Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad Corp.); and Arkansas & Missouri Railroad Co. in April was approved for $12 million, and is negotiating loan terms with FRA.


FRA has received 10 other short-line loan applications, which are in various stages of the approval process, ASLRRA said.


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.


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