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Gov. Kelly Announces $11.5 Million Investment to Improve Rail Network Across Rural Kansas

HUMBOLDT – Governor Laura Kelly joined Transportation Secretary Julie Lorenz today to announce that the State of Kansas is giving $11.5 million in grants to advance 17 railroad improvement projects across Kansas. The projects – the majority of which are in West and South Kansas – will be funded through the Kansas Department of Transportation’s State Rail Service Improvement Fund (SRSIF). Governor Kelly shared the list of SRSIF’s spring 2022 grantees during an event at the Monarch Cement Company in Humboldt, the largest grantee this cycle.

“Kansas’ railroad industry is vital to the state’s economy and the nation’s supply chain system,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “This $11.5 million investment will modernize our rail network, strengthen our position as a national logistics hub, and enable farmers and ranchers to get their products to market faster.”

SRSIF is part of the Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program (IKE). Since IKE was founded in 2019, it has awarded nearly $50 million in grants and matching community contributions to 26 improvement projects. Core to IKE is state-local collaboration; each grantee contributes at least 40% of the improvement project funding. With the grantees’ contributions, the total investment in rail improvement projects throughout the state is $19 million.

“Combining state and private funds to improve local infrastructure is a core principle of IKE: leveraging partnerships,” Secretary Julie Lorenz said. “By placing emphasis on right-sized, practical improvements, together we are effectively addressing critical infrastructure needs for agriculture and manufacturing in Kansas.”

These grant funds, made available to short-line railroads, shippers, and other qualifying entities, will be used for significant track rehabilitation and capacity improvement projects. Funds may also be used for financing and acquisition activities and the purchase of rolling stock.

Click here for a list of the projects receiving funding from the SRSIF for fiscal year 2022.