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More than $3 million in state grants have been approved for short-line railroad improvements in Kentucky, Gov. Steve Beshear announced yesterday.The grants will be used to fund public safety improvements to at-grade crossings, railroad bridge overpasses and crossing warning signals, lights, signs and barriers."Freight rail companies, including the 12 short lines that operate in Kentucky, contribute hundreds of millions of dollars to our economy each year in the form of wages and benefits," Beshear said in a press release. "They provide business, industry and agriculture with a market connection that is safe, efficient and environmentally sound."The grants were provided under the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet's budget. They represent 75 percent to 80 percent of total project costs. The railroads provide the remainder of the cost.The grants are being provided to:• R.J. Corman Railroad Group, which will receive $1,568,915 for 13 projects on the company's Central Kentucky Line and eight on its Memphis Line. The projects involve reconstruction or rehabilitation of various crossings and overpasses and a crossing signal upgrade.• Paducah & Louisville Railway Inc., which will receive $1,282,725 for 15 projects in McCracken, Marshall and Jefferson counties involving reconstruction of crossings and a signal upgrade.• Port of Louisville Railroad, which will receive $93,980 for reconstruction of a crossing on KY 1230 in Jefferson County.• Kentucky Railway Museum, which will receive $136,577 for improvements to crossings on U.S. 52 in LaRue County and a county road in Nelson County.
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