On Monday, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear and R.J. Corman Railroad Group officials marked the start of the Appalachian Regional Short Line Project.
Funded in part by a $17.5 million federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant, the $22 million project calls for rehabilitating rail infrastructure in Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia.
The Kentucky portion of the project involves upgrades to 246 miles of aging track along the Memphis, Central Kentucky and Bardstown lines in 12 counties. Work includes improvements to rail, grade crossings, bridges and tunnels.
The majority of the TIGER grant (about $13 million) will fund the Kentucky portion of the project; R.J. Corman — whose short lines serve 81 customers in Kentucky — will provide $3 million and the state, $200,000.
“The Appalachian region historically has suffered from limited connections to national transportation systems,” said Gov. Beshear in a prepared statement. “Rehabilitating short line tracks will provide continued and much-needed access to the national rail network for customers who depend on rail freight movement.”
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