Wisconsin Oks loans to freight rail projects

Written by Jenifer Nunez, assistant editor

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) approved four state awards totaling $7,605,081 to improve freight rail infrastructure and support economic growth. The funds will be administered through its Freight Railroad Infrastructure Improvement Program (FRIIP).


The 2014 loan awards include $1,500,000 to Farm City Elevator Inc. in Darien.
The FRIIP award covers the total project cost to build a 765,000-bushel grain storage bin at the facility, previously owned by Zenda Grain LLC. This is the fifth consecutive year the site has received a FRIIP loan. The facility is located on a rail line served by Wisconsin and Southern Railroad Company, on right-of-way owned by the state of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin River Rail Transit Commission. The additional storage bin is expected to increase the market for wheat, corn and soy beans and enhance the southeast Wisconsin farming economy.

Didion Milling Inc. in Cambria will receive $2,532,831 for the construction of a mainline bypass track, a rail scale switch, a warehouse addition, a bulk loadout facility and a complete upgrade of the corn unload system. The rail line is operated by Wisconsin and Southern Railroad, on right-of-way owned by the state of Wisconsin and granted to the East Wisconsin County Railroad Consortium. The total cost of the project is estimated at $2,943,000.

Grain Ventures LLC, in Oconto Falls was awarded $820,000, which will cover the total estimated project cost to build a 600,000-bushel capacity grain storage bin. Expansion at the Oconto Falls facility will increase options for area farmers in the northeast region of the state. The facility is served by Escanaba and Lake Superior Railroad, on a rail line in which the state of Wisconsin holds a significant equity interest.

Wisconsin Rapids Grain – Nidera, LLC, in Blair will receive $2,752,250
for the construction of a new 7,2000-foot rail spur, including six switches at the east Blair grain facility. The main purpose of the spur is to open up new markets for Wisconsin Rapids Grain to ship grain nationally. It also has potential to become a transloading terminal for such uses as frac sand. The facility is served by Canadian National Railroad. The FRIIP award covers the total estimated cost of the project.


Categories: Class 1, ON Track Maintenance, Shortline/Regional