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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

Rochelle Railroad breaks ground on $7 million expansion

The project is being funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration, the Illinois Department of Transportation and the city of Rochelle.
Photo – City of Rochelle Railroad


City of Rochelle Railroad broke ground last week on a $7 million expansion in the Illinois city.

The project is being funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration (EDA), which is contributing $3.42 million; the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), $2.58 million; and the city of Rochelle, $1 million.

"We are very fortunate to have partners like the EDA and IDOT to advance the infrastructure we need to continue growing our industrial base," said Rochelle City Manager Jeff Fiegenschuh in a press release.

The project consists of three separate contracts: Martin Excavating of Oregon, Illinois, will construct a four-track bridge over John's Creek; William Charles Ltd. of Rockford, Illinois, will construct a 3.5-mile, three-track extension; and Tom Jorczak, area manager for RailWorks Corp. of Minooka, Illinois, will oversee construction of a double-track transloading yard.

The Greater Rochelle Economic Development Corp. founded the City of Rochelle rail system in 1986. The system connects local industries to Union Pacific Railroad and BNSF Railway Co.

The city-owned short line has attracted 14 businesses and generated millions of dollars to the local tax base, city officials said.