Tuesday morning rail news:
Congress to make Short Line Tax Credit permanent
A provision in Congress’ new stimulus/coronavirus relief bill will make permanent the 45G Short Line Tax Credit, which provides a credit of up to $3,500 per mile for short line infrastructure projects. “We applaud Congress for their bipartisan, bicameral action to make the effective and popular Short Line Tax Credit permanent,” Chuck Baker, president of the American Short Line and Regional Railroads Association, said in a press release. “… Creating long-term tax certainty will enable small business railroads to meet customer needs throughout the country, particularly in the energy, agriculture and manufacturing industries, immediately and far into the future.” The credit was introduced in 2005, with the ASLRRA saying it has led to investments of more than $5 billion, but has always had temporary status. Permanency, Baker said, willprovide “much needed support to short line railroads.”
Former Ringling Bros. cars among those to be sold by North Carolina DOT
The North Carolina Department of Transportation is putting nine former Ringling Bros. and Banum & Bailey Circus cars on sale, along with even other railcars it owns but decides it no longer needs. The Raleigh News & Observer reports the agency bought the circus cars three years ago, thinking it might refurbish them for use on the state-supported Piedmont passenger trains. But the state has since received two federal grants for a total of $157 million that will allow it to buy new locomotives and cars. The cars are available on an auction page on the state’s surplus property website; bids will be accepted through 10 a.m. on Jan. 4, 2021.
Man found dead apparently fell from ‘Empire Builder’
A 54-year-old man found dead near Devils Lake, N.D., on Sunday is believed to have fallen from Amtrak’s Empire Builder that morning. The Grand Forks Herald reports the man, from Maryland, was apparently bound for Minot, based on his ticket. His name has not been released pending notification of relatives. The Ramsey County, N.D., Sheriff’s Office is investigating.