This article is taken from the September 28, 2023USDA Grain Transportation Report.

On September 25, the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced the award of over $1.4 billion to fund 70 rail improvement projects, through its Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) program.

Of the 70 total projects, 6 directly relate to grain transportation, and their total Federal funding amounts to over $150 million. The largest grant (nearly $73 million) is for the Washington State Department of Transportation’s improvements to the Palouse River and Coulee City Railroad (PCC).

The PCC handles wheat traffic in eastern Washington State, and the upgrades will increase wheat movements by accommodating 286,000-pound railcars (larger than previously), as well as higher speeds. This corridor serves the Washington Grain Train program. Other projects funded in this round of CRISI awards include grain-related improvements in Indiana, Kansas, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Texas.