SASKATOON, Saskatchewan — Thirteen provincially regulated short line railways will receive a total of C$530,000 in grants through Saskatchewan’s Short Line Railway Improvement Program, the provincial government announced Thursday.
Grants are determined by the trackage of each railway, with the smallest lines, of less than 80 kilometers (50 miles) receiving $25,000. Seven lines — Thunder Rail, Torch River Rail, Northern Lights Rail, Southern Rails Cooperative, Long Creek Railroad, Wheatland Rail, and Red Coat Road & Rail — received that amount. Also receiving funds were Stewart Southern Railway, $28,297; Last Mountain Railway, $28.297; Carlton Trail Railway, $27,515; Great Sandhills Railway, $43,089; Big Sky Rail, $87,035; and Great Western Railway, $129,909.
Funds will go toward track upgrades and expansion, grade crossing improvements, bridge maintenance, track rehabilitation, and other projects. The grants provide up to 50% of eligible project costs.
“The short line rail industry plays a pivotal role in bolstering our economy by efficiently transporting agricultural goods and a multitude of other products across our growing province,” Highways Minister Jeremy Cockrill said in a press release. “Our commitment to this program ensures ongoing provision of grants to short lines, empowering them to enhance their tracks through upgrades and expansion projects.”