Five short line railroads are receiving approximately $2.1 million in matching grant funds from the North Carolina Department of Transportation via the agency’s Freight Rail & Rail Crossing Safety Improvement or FRRCSI Program.
[Above photo by the NCDOT]
This grant funding is in addition to $12 million in grants NCDOT awarded to 12 short line railroads in December 2022 under the same program. The grants will be matched with short line railroad funds to contribute approximately $4.2 million in rail infrastructure improvements. Thus, altogether, those projects will support improvements to 78.2 miles of railroad track in North Carolina, the agency said.
NCDOT noted that its FRRCSI supports rail infrastructure improvements throughout the state, enabling the agency to partner with rail companies on improvement projects to effectively move freight. This partnership helps railroads efficiently meet customer needs in cost-effective ways, while preparing them for growing service demands and partnerships with new businesses and industries, NCDOT added.
State departments of transportation across the country provide similar fiscal support for a variety of short line railroad needs.
For example, in March, nine short line rail maintenance and rehabilitation projects received nearly $5 million as part of Short Line Rail Improvement Fund or SLRIF program operated by the Kansas Department of Transportation.
Six of the projects will use SLRIF funds for major track rehabilitation and rail replacement, while the remaining three plan to put their funding towards siding extensions and storage tracks.
All nine of those projects support rail enhancements to expand carload capabilities, reduce truck traffic, increase operating speeds, and improve operating efficiencies, the Kansas DOT said.
Also in March, the Minnesota Department of Transportation awarded nine freight rail projects a total of $7 million in funding to improve freight rail service that supports economic development in different parts of the state; grant funds provided through the Minnesota Rail Service Improvement program