Applications are being accepted for the Michigan Rail Enhancement Program to upgrade freight rail facilities and corridors that enhance operational efficiency, accessibility, system capacity, and system condition.
Through Feb. 24, the Michigan Department of Transportation is soliciting submissions for the Michigan Rail Enhancement Program. Eligible applicants include freight railroads and owners of multi-user transload facilities, according to a local news report.
Grants cover up to 70% of eligible project costs up to $5 million, according to MDOT.
Eligible project costs include those related to fixed assets such as track, ties, bridges, crossings, rail scales on mainline corridors and at rail yards, intermodal facilities and transload facilities. Costs associated with plans involving movable equipment and/or rolling stock may be considered if they address Michigan-specific use.
Funding will not be allocated to support design, engineering, permit fees or right-of-way acquisition. Applicants may submit more than one application, however total awards cannot exceed $5 million per applicant per project solicitation and/or MDOT fiscal year.
MDOT’s Office of Rail administers three programs to support the state’s rail system, including the Freight Economic Development Program, Michigan Rail Loan Assistance Program, and Michigan Rail Enhancement Grant Program.
Michigan’s rail system includes approximately 3,600 miles of rail corridors, operated by 29 railroads. Four Class 1 railroads operate in Michigan and the system carries about 17% of all the state’s freight tonnage, according to MDOT. The system also supports three intercity passenger rail routes.