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KDOT submits grant application or passenger rail

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The Kansas Department of Transportation has submitted a final grant application totaling $10 million to the Federal Railroad Administration for funding under the High Speed/Intercity Passenger Rail program using funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, said Ron Kaufman with KDOT, according to the Topeka Capital-Journal.

The grant would be used
to fund signal and crossing upgrades along the BNSF tracks between Newton and
the Kansas/Oklahoma state line. The upgrades will be needed for potential
passenger rail service between Oklahoma City and Kansas City. The FRA hasn’t
set a date for announcing awards, Kaufman said.

This is the third grant
application KDOT submitted to support passenger rail in Kansas. The first
application was for $7.6 million for track improvements on the Southwest Chief
route between Emporia and Barclay using ARRA funds. The improvements will
permit the Southwest Chief to increase its average operating speed in that
section.

The second application
was for a $500,000 project to prepare a service development plan for potential
intercity passenger rail service between Kansas City, Oklahoma City and Fort
Worth. This grant wouldn’t use ARRA funds and requires a 50 percent state match,
according to Kaufman.

KDOT committed $250,000
toward the total project cost, of which the Oklahoma Department of
Transportation committed up to $125,000. A service development plan is a
detailed, comprehensive business and operations plan for implementing passenger
rail service. The Plan will be required for applicants to receive potential
future federal funding for capital to implement passenger rail service.

The final applications are
available on the KDOT Passenger Rail website at
www.ksdot.org/passrail.

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