S.D. short line rail projects receive federal funding

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
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The Rapid City, Pierre, & Eastern Railroad will receive money for a subdivision project.

On Dec. 1, 2021, the U. S. DOT’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) published a Notice of Funding Opportunity on the availability of Special Transportation Circumstance (STC) program funding.

This notice made funding available for eligible projects through the Consolidated Appropriations Acts of 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021. The FRA recently announced that $4 million was granted for three projects in two states under the FY 2021 STC program. Two projects are in South Dakota.

“The South Dakota Department of Transportation had two proposed projects selected for STC program funding,” said Secretary Joel Jundt. “The selected projects are key to providing economic growth and increasing safety and efficiency for rail services across South Dakota and we appreciate Congress’ continued support in funding this important federal program.”

Ringneck & Western Efficiency and Growth Project (funding up to $1,799,009)The proposed project will improve the economic growth, safety, resiliency, and efficiency of the Ringneck & Western Railroad (RWRR) located just east of Plankinton, S.D. The project includes construction, materials, and support services necessary to construct two 1,500-ft transload tracks to transport lumber and aggregate, and construct a 558-ft industrial lead track and a concrete maintenance pit in an existing locomotive maintenance building. Ancillary project work would include a loadout spur, six turnouts, and a roadway for vehicular and transloading equipment access. The project will improve locomotive maintenance and provide an area to transload goods from rail to truck, improving efficiency for the products being moved and the area’s economy. The RWRR will provide a 40% match.

RCP&E Increasing Rail Resilience Project (funding up to $800,000)The proposed projects will improve safety along the Rapid City, Pierre, & Eastern Railroad (RCP&E) Pierre-Rapid City (PRC) Subdivision by upgrading and installing eight culvert structures between Fort Pierre and Rapid City, S.D. The PRC Subdivision is a 163-mile-long single-track main line between these two cities. With completion of the project, the new structures will better withstand future flows from the storm water basins at their location. This in turn will improve the resilience of the PRC Subdivision and service reliability for all customers along the line. The RCP&E will provide a 20% match for this project.

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