Earlier this month, the Federal Railroad Administration announced more than $368 million in Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) grant program funds to 46 projects in 32 states and the District of Columbia.
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“We are excited to see the strong funding that has been awarded to the short line railroads to strengthen the freight rail network to support our growing economy,” said Mark Simon, senior director-Short Line and Interline at Union Pacific Railroad. “The short line railroads are a key part of our network extension and growth strategy. These investments will support track renewal programs and increase capacity to handle new business with our short line partners.”
Today, Union Pacific connects with over 200 short lines that extends its reach by more than 20,000 track miles.
With rail volumes expected to grow over the next several years, this is a great opportunity to improve the supply chain to that first and last mile for our customers. Not only will these investments enhance the safety of freight movements across America, but they also help promote an environmentally sustainable mode of transportation as rail is the most fuel-efficient way to move freight over land. Moving freight by rail instead of truck reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by up to 75% as well as taking freight off crowded highways.
Some examples of the grant recipients and projects that were awarded to our short line partners include:
- Port of Little Rock (Arkansas) – $5.6 million to help the inland port railroad increase capacity and reduce fuel use, including adding 11,215 feet of track and constructing a locomotive maintenance facility.
- Iowa Northern Railway (Iowa) – $7.2 million to install 27.3 miles of continuous welded rail (CWR), including replacing 39-foot sections of jointed rails, to increase track speed up to 40 MPH, which will improve efficiency and enhance safety.
- Kyle Railroad (Kansas) – $9.4 million to assist with replacing 23.5 track miles with new, modern 115-pound continuous welded rail, as well as replacing rail turnouts and crossties, and improving efficiency and safety to the local agricultural communities.
- Nebraska Central Railroad (Nebraska) – $6.3 million to construct four rail sidings, including three grade crossings, to support increased rail demand, improve the rail network's resiliency and provide rail access to non-rail served industries.
These awards from the FRA to support rail projects help lay the foundation for future economic growth.