28 Feb KGFA’s Legislative Efforts Passing Short Line Rail Improvement Funding Benefit Members for Third-Straight Year
Kansas Grain and Feed Association’s (KGFA) legislative efforts in 2020 of including grain shippers and other owners of rail siding adjacent to short line rail in the Eisenhower Transportation Plan have again paid dividends as Governor Laura Kelly announced nearly $5 million for nine short line rail projects on Tuesday.
“When we successfully helped pass this legislation in 2020, we knew everyone will benefit from this program for many years to come,” Seeber said. “Farmers will see improved rail service to ship their crops and receive inputs to grow them. Rail and shipper employees receive improved safety. Our underserved Kansas communities welcome the economic development of bringing new business and construction to their towns and we experience a decreased need for over-the-road transportation.”
Six SLRIF recipients will use the funds for major track rehabilitation and rail replacement; three projects were awarded funds for siding extensions and storage tracks. These projects support rail enhancements to expand carload capabilities, reduce truck traffic, increase operating speeds, and improve operating efficiencies.
“These nine rail improvement projects will strengthen Kansas’ agriculture supply chain, connecting our farmers and ranchers to regional, national, and international markets,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “My administration will continue to invest in needed and commonsense infrastructure improvements like these to maximize our state’s economic potential.”
State funding for the nine projects will be enhanced by a 30 percent match from each recipient, resulting in a total rail infrastructure investment of nearly $6.5 million. The program received 19 applications requesting more than $18 million in program funds in this third and final round of funding for the program through IKE, the state’s 10-year bipartisan transportation program. SLRIF made available $5 million each for state fiscal years 2021, 2022, and 2023.