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Last month, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) issued its third Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) program loan to a freight railroad and fourth overall in 2007.
OmniTRAX Inc.’s 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 a Windsor, Colo., ethanol plant, a new interchange with Union Pacific Railroad in Greeley, Colo., and other trackwork. The 80-mile Great Western serves 11 shippers at a 700-acre industrial park located between Windsor and Greeley.
The FRA previously issued RRIF loans in ’07 to R.J. Corman Railroad Group, the Dakota Minnesota & Eastern Railroad Corp., and Virginia Railway Express — the first commuter-rail recipient.
Canadian National Railway Co. reached a deal to acquire the Athabasca Northern Railway Ltd. (ANY) for $25 million from Cando Contracting Ltd. pending long-term traffic guarantees from shippers Suncor Energy Inc., OPTI Canada Inc. and Nexen Inc.
CN plans to spend $135 million during the next three years to upgrade the 202-mile short line to facilitate northbound construction material and machinery moves for oil sands development in the Alberta Industrial Heartland near Edmonton. ANY interchanges with CN in Boyle, Alberta.
In 2006, CN acquired three northern Alberta short lines: the Mackenzie Northern, Lakeland & Waterways, and Savage Alberta railways.