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3/15/2011



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Wisconsin DOT provides $25.5 million worth of freight-rail grants, loans


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The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) recently announced 11 grant and loan awards totaling $25.5 million for projects designed to improve freight rail-related facilities, and/or preserve and upgrade rail infrastructure in the state.

WisDOT will provide six loan awards totaling $4.9 million through the Freight Railroad Infrastructure Improvement Program (FRIIP) and five grant awards totaling $20.6 million through the Freight Railroad Preservation Program (FRPP), which covers up to 80 percent of the cost of freight-rail projects. Twelve freight railroads operate in Wisconsin over 3,600 route miles of track, handling about 2.5 million carloads annually.

The 2011 FRPP grant awards (some of which include FRIIP loans) include:
• $8.8 million to the Wisconsin & Southern Railroad Co. (WSOR) to cover 80 percent of the total cost for a Phase II rehabilitation project on a Madison-to-Milton line, including completion of grade crossing surface renewals, bridge work and installation of new welded rail on a 31-mile corridor (a $1.1 million FRIIP loan will cover an additional 10 percent of costs);
• $4.4 million to Escanaba & Lake Superior Railroad Co. to cover 80 percent of the total cost to rehabilitate track between Wausaukee and Niagara, including tie and ballast repairs, and surfacing, turnout and grade crossing work along a 31-mile corridor (a $552,926 FRIIP loan will cover an additional 10 percent of costs);
• $3.6 million to WSOR to cover 80 percent of the total cost for emergency rehabilitation and reconstruction work on bridges in Brodhead, Hanover, Janesville, Juda, Lone Rock, Madison, Woodman and Zenda (a $455,894 FRIIP loan will cover an additional 10 percent of costs);
• $2.2 million to the East Wisconsin Counties Railroad Consortium, which through WisDOT plans to acquire 3.6 miles of track and a corridor through the city of Milwaukee from WSOR to preserve it for railroad use; and
• $1.4 million to WSOR to cover 80 percent of the total cost to rehabilitate 1.8 miles of track in the Waukesha area.

The 2011 FRIIP load awards include:
• $1.7 million to Zenda Grain L.L.C. to construct extensions to an existing rail spur, and add a 1 million-bushel capacity grain storage bin and conveying equipment at its Zenda plant served by WSOR;
• $868,970 to Millard Grain L.L.C. to construct a rail scale and add a 466,000-bushel capacity grain storage bin, related conveying equipment and rotary grain samplers at its Avalon plant on state-owned railroad right of way; and
• $189,274 to Duffy Grain to construct a concrete grain rail dump pit and add related conveying equipment for unloading inbound rail cars.


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