According to today's USDA Grain Transportation Report, on February 28, the Kansas Governor announced that nine short line rail maintenance and rehabilitation projects will be awarded nearly $5 million as a part of the State’s Short Line Rail Improvement Fund (SLRIF) program.

The rail improvement projects are intended to strengthen Kansas’s agricultural supply chain by connecting farmers to regional, national, and international markets.

Six SLRIF recipients will use the funds for major track rehabilitation and rail replacement, and three recipients will use the funds for siding extensions and storage tracks.

Each recipient will provide a 30% match, resulting in a total investment of nearly $6.5 million.

Short lines provide rail access for rural grain producers and reduce overall reliance on trucks (resulting in lower emissions and less road/highway congestion and maintenance).

However, government funding is often needed to provide adequate resources to maintain short line tracks.