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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

Michigan DOT ponies up $16 million for 10 freight-rail projects

The Adrian and Blissfield Rail Road landed a nearly $3.9 million grant to replace rail, ties and ballast, surface track and improve a yard.
Photo – Adrian and Blissfield Rail Road Co./Peter Mayor


The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) yesterday announced 10 freight-rail projects will receive funding assistance through the 2024 Michigan Rail Enhancement Grant Program.

MDOT will provide a total of $16 million for the projects, which are designed to improve freight-rail safety, operational efficiency, accessibility, capacity and track condition The grants will leverage about $11 million in private investments in the state’s rail system, MDOT officials said in a press release.

"Michigan's freight-rail system has always been a vital asset in keeping our economy moving by transporting everything, like agricultural products, finished automobiles, consumer goods and building materials,” said State Transportation Director Bradley Wieferich. "These grants will assist railroads in making crucial infrastructure investments that will help provide for safe and efficient transportation."

The grants reimburse up to 70% of a project’s cost associated with track, bridges, grade crossings, rail scales, and intermodal and transload facilities.

MDOT is bestowing the largest grant — nearly $3.9 million — to the Adrian and Blissfield Rail Road Co. (A&B) to replace rail, ties and ballast, surface track and complete yard improvements.

"The funding allows for continued enhancement of our track infrastructure, as well as driving economic value for Michigan businesses that ship bulk commodities on our lines," said A&B President Chris Bagwell. "Outside of our existing freight business, the increased capacity realized through these projects makes it more enticing for potential outside entities to locate in Michigan."

In addition, Lake State Railway Co. will obtain four grants totaling more than $4.9 million for various work, including the construction of a new transload facility.

A complete list of the grant recipients and their projects is available here.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/14/2024