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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie yesterday announced the state will provide 12 grants totaling $12.9 million through the New Jersey Department of Transportation's (NJDOT) fiscal-year 2013 Rail Freight Assistance Program. The grants will help fund freight-rail infrastructure projects, primarily for short lines.Administered by NJDOT's Bureau of Multimodal Grants and Programs, the Rail Freight Assistance Program provides funding for such projects as upgrades and repairs to existing tracks and bridges, and customer connections to existing freight-rail lines. Since 1994, the state has provided more than $65 million for rail projects through the program.For FY2013, the state will provide:• a $2 million grant for the sixth phase of the Salem County Short Line running track rehabilitation project;• a $1.9 million grant to the New York, Susquehanna & Western Railway to install 7.3 miles of weld-in-place jointed rail in North Bergen, and another $659,698 grant to build 2,800 feet of terminal track in North Bergen;• separate $1.57 million and $1.25 million grants to SMS Rail Service Inc. for its Pureland expansion and upgrade projects;• a $1.5 million grant to New Jersey Seashore Lines for trackwork in its Southern Division;• a $974,700 grant to East Jersey Railroad and Terminal Co. for its Yard 6 storage project;• an $895,200 grant to the Winchester & Western Railroad to rehab a bridge and another $470,600 grant to install welded rail on its South Main branch;• two $675,000 grants to Conrail to rehab three timber bridges on its southern secondary and install continuous-welded rail on its Salem running track; and• a $395,996 grant to the Belvidere & Delaware River Railway for its 2013 Three Bridges Rail Project."The projects funded here will help advance a transportation strategy that strives to increase mobility and efficiency in the movement of goods in support of the state's economy," said NJDOT Commissioner James Simpson in a press release.