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The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) will award $3.42 million in public works and economic adjustment funds to expand a short line in Rochelle, Ill., U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) announced last week.The city's proposed short-line rail extension and switchyard expansion will make 600 acres available for rail-served economic development, provide industry with access to Class Is and improve the movement of goods through the state, Kirk said in a press release.The EDA investment will fund the extension of the city-owned rail line and switchyard to support expansion of industrial and commercial manufacturers in the area. "With the announcement of the EDA grant today, the city of Rochelle will be able to expand our 'dual rail' system, which will be the catalyst to attracting millions of dollars in private investment and more than a thousand new jobs," said Rochelle Mayor Chet Olson.
Formed in 1986, the City of Rochelle Railroad operates 12 miles of track and interchanges with BNSF Railway Co. and Union Pacific Railroad.