Oklahoma’s Kiamichi Railroad will use a $10 million federal grant to make some much-needed improvements to its rail line.
The short-line railroad company operates on 200 miles of track in southeast Oklahoma. It also does business in Arkansas (36 miles of track) and northeast Texas (30 miles).
The grant will pay for half of a project that will allow trains to increase speeds to 25 mph and will increase carload weight to 286,000 lb. Approximately 23 miles of rail lines and 15 turnouts will be replaced, along with 31 bridges being reinforced, 17 curves resurfaced, 13 miles of track restored, and almost a dozen rail crossings will be improved. Much of the project is located on the tribal lands of Choctaw Nation.
“This funding will not only bring needed upgrades to this vital railway, but it will bring necessary rail access to the people of southeast Oklahoma, spurring regional economic activity and job growth,” said Sen. Jim Inhofe. “I have always said one of the most important things we should be doing here in Congress is ensuring our infrastructure is up to date.”
Kiamichi Railroad typically hauls coal, lumber, minerals, stone, pulp and paper.