Funding For Railroad Repairs

Nine short line rail maintenance and rehabilitation projects, including one in Saline County,  are being awarded nearly $5 million as part of the Kansas Department of Transportation’s Short Line Rail Improvement Fund (SLRIF) program.

Cargill in Salina is receiving over $1.2 million dollars for a storage track project.

“These nine rail improvement projects will strengthen Kansas’ agriculture supply chain, connecting our farmers and ranchers to regional, national, and international markets,” Kansas Governor Laura Kelly said. “My administration will continue to invest in needed and commonsense infrastructure improvements like these to maximize our state’s economic potential.”

Six SLRIF recipients will use the funds for major track rehabilitation and rail replacement; three projects were awarded funds for siding extensions and storage tracks. These projects support rail enhancements to expand carload capabilities, reduce truck traffic, increase operating speeds, and improve operating efficiencies.

State funding for the nine projects will be enhanced by a 30% match from each recipient, resulting in a total rail infrastructure investment of nearly $6.5 million.

The program received 19 applications requesting more than $18 million in program funds in this third and final round of funding for the program through IKE, the state’s 10-year bipartisan transportation program. SLRIF made available $5 million each for state fiscal years 2021, 2022, and 2023.

“The Short Line Rail Improvement Fund is another opportunity for KDOT to partner with industry to help modernize and make needed improvements,” Calvin Reed, Acting Secretary of Transportation, said. “Projects awarded through this program serve both short line railroads and their customers by investing in critical infrastructure that helps drive the Kansas economy.”

Selected projects through the SLRIF for State Fiscal Year 2023:

Project Sponsor
Project Type
Bestifor Farms in Republic County
Siding extension
Cargill – Salina, in Saline County
Storage tracks
Gavilon Grain in Sedgwick County
Major rehabilitation with rail relay
Garden City Western Railroad in Finney County
Major rehabilitation with rail relay
Hi-Plains Cooperative Association in Sheridan County
Major rehabilitation with siding
Kansas-Oklahoma Railroad – Wichita South Yard in Sedgwick County
Major rehabilitation
Scoular Grain – Pittsburg, in Crawford County
Siding extension
South Kansas & Oklahoma Railroad in Elk County
Rail replacement
V&S Railway in Barber and Harper counties
Major rehabilitation
Total Awarded:

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Photo by Scott Blake on Unsplash