News & Reviews News Wire Minnesota DOT provides $9.6 million in funding for 11 freight rail projects

Minnesota DOT provides $9.6 million in funding for 11 freight rail projects

By Trains Staff | May 9, 2024

Infrastructure improvement funds go to short lines, shippers, one community

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Minnesota Department of Transportation logoST. PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota Department of Transportation has awarded a total of $9.6 million to 11 freight rail projects under the Minnesota Rail Service improvement program, the agency announced this week. Funding, approved during the 2023 legislative special session, supports economic development in regions across the state.

“Improving Minnesota’s rail service gives local businesses more opportunities to compete in our global and national economy,” Kelly Christenson, MnDOT freight and rail programs supervisor, said in a press release. “The increased number of grant applications we received this year demonstrates the importance of improving the freight rail infrastructure across the state.”

The agency received 19 applications requesting a total of $22.5 million.

Projects receiving funding, with locations and amount, are:

— Northern Country Co-op, Lansing: $1.9 million to develop a unit train loading facility and install storage binds to hold product until it can be loaded onto a train.

— Minnesota Northern Railroad, Crookston: $1.56 million to develop land for a new industrial park and innovation center, including construction of 2,478 feet of track, a turnout to the site, bin storage, and a grade crossing.

— Louisiana-Pacific Corp., Watkins: $1.5 million to install new railcar offloading stations with outdoor bulk storage and material handling upgrades.

— Meadowlands Farmers Co-op, Echo: $1.1 million to contruct 2,150 feet of new siding track to transport fertilizer for a new agronomy center, to be built adjacent to the siding.

— American Crystal Sugar Co., Crookston: $960,000 to expand a packaging warehouse to cover the adjacent rail spur, increasing the ability to access and load railcars.

— City of Little Falls: $613,600 to rebuild and update a signal at an existing grade crossing, install ADA-compliant pedestrian crosswalks, and close an existing road crossing on a rail spur.

— Seven Rivers Intermodal Terminal, LLC, Winona: $511,446 to add 2,440 feet of track and two switches to an existing terminal to increase yard capacity and inbound shipments for distribution.

— Progressive Rail Inc., Lakeville: $468,137 to improve eight bridges on Progressive’s 97-mile rail system in the state.

— Sanimax USA, LLC, South St. Paul: $400,000 to enhance its loading system to allow direct loading of materials into railcars, and installation of a system linking the truck loadout to the rail loading area.

— Twin Cities & Western Railroad, near Cologne: $328,424 to extend a stub track over a recently acquired parcel, creating a full siding with connections to the TC&W mainline, proving greater access and track capacity to support a large transload operation.

— DeRock Capital Group, LLC, Hector: $246,000 to add a switch, 350 feet of track, update two loading docks, and complete groundwork adjacent to a rail spur to increase transloading capabilities.

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