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9/17/2009



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Several states, municipalities apply for TIGER grants by Tuesday's deadline


The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) deadline for Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant applications came and went Tuesday. But before the clock struck midnight, several states and municipalities submitted applications seeking millions of dollars for dozens of rail projects.

The Iowa DOT submitted applications seeking $109 million for rail projects and $440.2 million for highway projects. The rail requests included a $25 million TIGER grant to help BNSF Railway Co. fund a $124 million bridge project in Burlington, which calls for replacing approach spans on both sides of a new lift span; a $7 million grant to help the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City Railroad Co. finance the addition of two 9,800-foot tracks for unit trains at a soon-to-be-expanded Archer Daniels Midland facility; a $19.9 million grant to help Iowa Northern Railway Co. fund bridge and line rehabilitation projects between Cedar Rapids and Manly; a $24 million grant to help Union Pacific Railroad finance a wind belt transportation improvement project; and a $33 million grant to help UP fund the relocation of a crew change facility from Clinton to near Low Moor.

Ohio’s DOT submitted applications seeking a whopping $587.9 million in TIGER grants for rail, highway, bridge, port and air-related projects. As part of a multi-state TIGER grant application, Ohio is seeking $258 million for CSX Corp.’s $842 million National Gateway intermodal corridor. The DOT also is requesting an $8.8 million grant for a public-private partnership seeking to help US Railcar L.L.C. build a diesel multiple unit manufacturing facility in Gahanna and $8 million grant to help Van Wert fund the construction of 11,000 feet of track to serve a 1,600-acre industrial park.

The Florida DOT submitted a TIGER grant application for the Miami Intermodal Center ‘s (MIC) Central Station project. The station is the last component of the $1.5 billion MIC program.

Meanwhile, the city of Atlanta and its Georgia Transit Connector partners submitted an application seeking a $298.3 million TIGER grant to help fund a new 9.7-mile streetcar system. The grant would cover all capital costs, including construction and vehicle procurement. The streetcar system would connect with Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority’s heavy-rail network.

Finally, the Oregon DOT and City of Prineville Railway submitted an application seeking a $50 million grant to build a freight-rail loading and unloading facility north of Redmond. The project calls for constructing an intermodal and bulk freight facility, improving rail and road alignments, and building an overpass. The facility would handle about 18,000 containers annually.

The USDOT expects to determine grant recipients by February 2010.


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