Wisconsin awards $12 million in freight rail grants

Written by Jenifer Nunez, assistant editor
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Wisconsin and Southern Railroad/Bill Gardner

The state of Wisconsin awarded $11,955,358 that will be used to construct freight rail-related facilities and preserve and upgrade rail infrastructure as part of overall efforts to support job growth and Wisconsin's economy.

“Wisconsin’s freight rail system plays a major role in our state’s economy, moving raw materials to industry and finished products to markets,” Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker said. “These awards will help support economic growth in communities across our state and help ensure Wisconsin remains open for business.”

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is administering six loans totaling $6,118,595 through the Freight Railroad Infrastructure Improvement Program (FRIIP). Two grants totaling $5,836,763 are being distributed through the state’s Freight Railroad Preservation Program (FRPP).

One FRPP grant was awarded to Escanaba and Lake Superior Railroad for 

bridge replacements along mainline from Green Bay to Michigan State Line. The Wisconsin & Southern Railroad received an FROO grant for bridge rehabilitation and replacement.

Zenda Grain was awarded a $1.5 million loan to construct a grain drying and storage facility at its existing grain elevator site. The Zenda Grain LLC facility is located on a rail line served by the Wisconsin and Southern Railroad Company, on right-of-way owned by the state of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin River Rail Transit Commission.

The FRIIP grant includes 

a loan of $1.5 to Landmark Services Cooperative to construct a 730,000 bushel capacity grain storage bin at its facility near Evansville, Wis. The facility is served by the Union Pacific Railroad.

Additionally, the FRIIP include a $610,000 loan for construction of a rail siding and load out facility along with a one million gallon capacity liquid fertilizer storage tank. The facility is served by Wisconsin and Southern Railroad, on a rail line owned by the State of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin River Rail Transit Commission.

And lastly, the FRIIP includes a loan to Sharratt Warehousing and Distribution of $1,779,000 for a rail siding and loading facility as part of a planned temperature controlled warehouse in the city of Reedsburg, Wis. The rail line is owned by the Union Pacific Railroad and operated by the Wisconsin & Southern Railroad under a long term lease.

Categories: OFF Track Maintenance, Shortline/Regional