Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News releases

Sept. 30, 2022

Latest news releases

MnDOT seeks applicants for rail service improvement program grants

$6.5 million available for railroads, cities, counties, rail shippers

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Railroads, rail shippers, cities and counties are encouraged to apply for up to $6.5 million in available grants for projects that will improve freight rail service that supports economic development, the Minnesota Department of Transportation announced today. The funding is available through the 2022 Minnesota Rail Service Improvement Program. Applications are due Dec. 16, 2022.

The funding was approved during the 2021 special legislative session.

“The MRSI program has a strong history of supporting essential railroad infrastructure that is part of the state’s critical freight transportation network,” said Megan Neeck, MRSI Program Manager. “MRSI funds are awarded to railroad projects that enhance economic development and provide economical, efficient and safe movement of goods to and from markets by rail.”

Examples of projects eligible for MRSI funding include railroad tracks, roadbeds, turnouts, bridges, fixed loading/unloading equipment and buildings. Funding cannot be used for regular or recurring maintenance activities, incomplete or phased projects or engineering, design and right of way acquisition costs.

MRSI webinar with Q&A session scheduled Nov. 9

Those interested in applying for MRSI funding are invited to join MnDOT and others for an informational webinar with Q&A session on Wednesday, Nov. 9, from 1 to 2 p.m.

Grant applications, more information about the webinar and additional MRSI program details are available at www.mndot.gov/ofrw/railroad/mrsi.html.

A MnDOT project selection team will then review and score eligible applications. Award recipients will be notified in February 2023.

The MRSI program has administered more than $62 million in loans and grants for capital improvement projects since it was established in 1976 to strengthen the state’s shipping economy. The program was given authority to issue grants for freight rail service improvements that support economic development in 2017.