Short Line Rail improvement projects come to Kansas

Published: Oct. 6, 2020 at 11:52 AM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Governor Laura Kelly and the Kansas Department of Transportation announced that Kansas will be seeing a handful of short-line rail improvement projects.

Governor Laura Kelly says she and Transportation Secretary Julie Lorenz announced on Tuesday the projects that will be receiving the Kansas Department of Transportation’s new Short Line Rail Fund program. She said they were joined by Ron Seeber, president and CEO of the Kansas Grain and Feed Association, and Bruce Carswell, senior vice president and COO of the Western Group, owner of the Cimarron Valley Railroad.

According to Gov. Kelly, 13 projects were awarded grants that totaled $5 million. She said four projects were awarded to short line railroads and nine projects were awarded to shippers. She said the program is a partnership between the public and private sectors, requiring applicants to provide 30% in matching funds. She said 2020′s selected projects will improve and construct almost 15 miles of track which is a $7 million investment.

“This project, and the IKE program as a whole, exemplify the change in how this administration does business,” said Governor Laura Kelly. “The State of Kansas will benefit because of programs like IKE, which demonstrates how government can be dynamic, fiscally responsible, and implement cutting-edge strategies to produce results for our communities.”

Gov. Kelly said the projects were selected based on the following criteria:

  • Long-term impact on rail operations, economic competitiveness, and safety;
  • Enhanced goods movement and logistical improvements;
  • Job creation and the ability to expand currently served markets; and
  • Enhanced efficiency of rail operations and the reliability of the impacted railroad.

Gov. Kelly said the Short Line Rail Fund was created under her Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program or IKE. She said it provides $5 million annually for three years.

“KDOT recognizes the important role that rail plays in our state’s economy and the Short Line Rail Improvement Fund is another opportunity for us to partner with industry to help modernize and make needed improvements,” said Secretary Lorenz. “Across all of our funding programs, KDOT is partnering on rail projects worth over $102 million in 36 counties across Kansas.”

ApplicantProject DescriptionAmount
Cimarron Valley RailwayRail Replacement, Bridges - 286K$1,147,789
Frontier AgSiding Extension$1,050,000
Frontier AgSiding Extension$875,000
New Century Air Center RailroadMajor Rehabilitation$256,163
Scott City CoopSiding Rehabilitation$36,047
Scott City CoopSiding Rehabilitation$35,304
Scoular GrainSiding Rehabilitation$97,242
Scoular GrainPreservation/Maintenance$71,306
Skyland GrainSiding Rehabilitation$93,800
Skyland GrainSiding Rehabilitation and Extension$220,851
Skyland GrainSiding Rehabilitation$24,500
South Kansas and Oklahoma RailroadRail Replacement - 286K$417,591
V&S RailwayRail Yard Rehabilitation$674,407

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