TOPEKA (KSNT) – Two short-line railroad companies will be getting $47 million in federal funds as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL).
The projects are part of a $1.4 billion investment from the Federal Railroad Administration into 70 projects in 36 states. The sum is the largest ever awarded through the Consolidated Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) program, according to a press release from the Office of the Governor.
Governor Laura Kelly announced in the press release that Watco out of Pittsburg and the South Kansas & Oklahoma Railroad (SKOL) out of Neodesha were selected to receive the funds.
“Through public/private partnerships, we are stepping up to take advantage of once-in-a-generation infrastructure funding made available through BIL – resulting in big wins for Kansas,” Kelly said. “Congratulations to Watco for identifying and advancing short-line railroad projects that will improve operational efficiencies for the benefit of our farmers and rural communities.”
The funds will go to Watco’s kWat: Electrifying Eatco Locomotives Project and the Southeast Short Line Rail Upgrade and Growth Project.
- kWat: Electrifying Eatco Locomotives Project
- Up to $15,740,943.
- Funds will be used to design and convert eight trains to be battery-powered. The project will improve system service performance and reduce emissions, according to the press release.
- Watco will provide a 20% match.
- Southeast Short Line Rail Upgrade and Growth Project
- Up to $31,225,484.
- Funds will be used to improve about 37 miles of SKOL tracks.
- KDOT and SKOL will provide a 20% match.