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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

Kansas awards $5 million to fund short-line rail projects

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly
Photo – Gov. Kelly's Facebook page


Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly yesterday announced the award of nearly $5 million in grants to help fund nine short-line rail projects.

The money is being distributed through the Kansas Department of Transportation's Short Line Rail Improvement Fund (SLRIF).

Six SLRIF recipients will use the funds for major track rehabilitation and rail replacement; three projects were awarded funds for siding extensions and storage tracks. The projects support rail enhancements to expand carload capabilities, reduce truck traffic, increase operating speeds and improve operating efficiencies, state officials said in a press release.

The state funding will be enhanced by a 30% match from each recipient, resulting in a total rail infrastructure investment of nearly $6.5 million.

The program received 19 applications requesting more than $18 million in program funds in this third and final round of funding for the program through the state’s 10-year transportation program. SLRIF made available $5 million each for state fiscal years 2021, 2022 and 2023, state officials said.

"These nine rail improvement projects will strengthen Kansas’ agriculture supply chain, connecting our farmers and ranchers to regional, national and international markets," said Kelly.

Among the projects to receive the grants are $1.25 million for storage tracks at Cargill's site in Salina; $700,000 for South Kansas and Oklahoma Railroad's rail replacement in Elk County; $666,367 for V&S Railway's rail replacement in Barber and Harper counties; and $395,850 for Garden City Western Railroad's major track rehabilitation with rail relay in Finney County.