Legislation has been introduced that could help short line railroad companies and passenger lines with their infrastructure projects.
The Railroad Rehabilitation and Financing Innovation Act was introduced in the U.S. Senate that would improve the Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) loan program. The measure will provide dedicated funding for RRIF funding costs (half going to short line and the remaining going to passenger), streamline the application process, and allows the program to provide longer loan terms for some infrastructure projects while changing the way the U.S. DOT evaluates collateral and creditworthiness.
The RRIF loan program was created 20 years ago, but according to the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association only one loan has been approved over the last eight years because of the expense, uncertainty and the time commitment involved in the loan request.
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