Short-Line Railroads Get Extended Tax Credits

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ Federal lawmakers have extended a tax credit to encourage rural railroads to invest in track improvements.

While big railroads like Burlington Northern and Sante Fe and Union Pacific serve most of eastern Kansas, the rest of the state relies on short-line railroads.

Congressman Jerry Moran sponsored the tax credit bill. The Kansas Republican said short-line railroads are vital to the state, especially to farmers and grain elevators in small towns who depend on short lines to move grain to market.

Moran said he pushed for the tax credits three years ago because short-line railroads were falling behind on investing in their infrastructure. He said that was leading to problems, including derailments.

The tax credits expire Dec. 31, 2009.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)