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9/28/2009



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Wisconsin doles out $30.5 million for 10 freight-rail projects


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Last week, Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle announced the state will award 10 loans and grants totaling $30.5 million for various freight-rail projects.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) will administer three loans totaling $3.4 million through the Freight Railroad Infrastructure Improvement Program, which provides loans to railroads, private industries and local governments to improve rail infrastructure and grade crossings, and construct rail-served facilities.

Zenda Grain L.L.C. will receive a $2.4 million loan to help finance the construction of rail spurs, tracks, a grain storage bin, rail loadout equipment and concrete dump pit in Zenda, Wis. The grain facility is located on a Wisconsin and Southern Railroad Co. (WSOR) line owned by the state and Wisconsin River Rail Transit Commission.

WisDOT also will provide two loans to WSOR: a $500,000 loan for a Madison-to-Milton Junction rail replacement project and $415,922 loan for a tie replacement project between Janesville and Monroe.

In addition, WisDOT will distribute seven grants totaling $27.2 million through the state’s Freight Railroad Preservation Program, which provides funds to cover up to 80 percent of project costs to preserve rail service or rehabilitate facilities on publicly owned rail lines.

The Wisconsin West Rail Transit Authority will receive a $1 million grant to fully fund the rehabilitation of the Cameron-to-Barron and Cameron-to-Rice Lake lines. WisDOT and the authority plan to complete the acquisition of the CN-owned lines early next year; work would begin in spring 2010.

The Wisconsin River Rail Transit Commission will receive grants totaling $4.1 million to acquire seven miles of rail in Janesville from WSOR. In addition, WSOR will receive five grants totaling more than $22 million to reconstruct a line from Plymouth to Kohler; rehabilitate the Madison-to-Milton Junction, Janesville-to-Monroe and North Milwaukee-to-Slinger lines; and rehabilitate and reconstruct several bridges.


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