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July 1, 2021

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MnDOT funds seven rail service improvement projects to support statewide economic development

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Seven projects that will improve rail service in Minnesota were announced today by the Minnesota Department of Transportation. The projects will receive a total of $4.05 million in grants from the competitive Minnesota Rail Service Improvement program, and will help support economic development in different parts of the state.

MnDOT received 21 MSRI applications requesting a total of $21.4 million for rail service improvement projects.

“The number of applicants for the 2021 MRSI grants show there’s a great need to maintain or improve rail freight service in local markets throughout the state,” said Peter Dahlberg, Office of Freight and Commercial Vehicle Operations program manager. “These local rail connections give local farmers, manufacturers and other local businesses the opportunity to compete in global and national markets.” 
The seven projects awarded during the most recent round of MRSI funding include:

  • Port Terminal Drive North rail crossing modernization (Duluth Seaway Port Authority) – $647,000 to reconstruct, upgrade and modernize approximately 700 feet of curved rail crossing and a switch located at the heart of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority’s Clure Public Marine Terminal.
  • Voyageur Capital Group (Grand Rapids Industrial Park) – $1.15 million to rehabilitate 5,475 feet of railroad track and re-establish rail service to the industrial park.
  • Carleton Capital rail access (Fergus Falls) – $480,000 to construct a rail spur as part of a new freight loading facility on the Otter Tail Valley Railroad in Fergus Falls.
  • Central Region Cooperative (Fairfax) – $500,000 to construct a new rail spur to service a fertilizer plant on the Minnesota Prairie Line. The plant currently ships product primarily by truck.
  • Farmers Co-operative Elevator Company grain elevator siding (Echo) – $250,000 to construct rail loading facilities on the Minnesota Prairie Line. The existing elevator currently ships product primarily by truck.
  • Farmers Grain terminal (Thief River Falls) – $820,000 to construct a rail spur that will enable efficient loading of unit grain trains.
  • Minnesota Commercial Railway bridge repair (Minneapolis) – $210,000 to replace the timber deck on the Minnesota Commercial Railway bridge spanning 31st Avenue South in Minneapolis.

The Minnesota Rail Service Improvement program began in 1976. Learn more about the program.