Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Oct. 2, 2023

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MnDOT seeks applicants for rail service improvement program grants

$9.6 million available for railroads, cities, counties, rail shippers

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Railroads, rail shippers, cities and counties are encouraged to apply for up to $9.6 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 2023 Minnesota Rail Service Improvement Program. Applications are due by 5 p.m. Dec. 15, 2023.

The funding was approved during the 2023 legislative session.

“The MRSI program helps build essential railroad infrastructure that is part of Minnesota’s critical freight transportation network,” said Megan Neeck, MRSI program manager. “This round of funding will continue to enhance that network, and help Minnesota businesses and local economies compete in a global marketplace.”

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. 15

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. 15, from 1 to 2 p.m. Join here via Microsoft Teams .

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

A MnDOT project selection team will review and score eligible applications. Award recipients will be notified in April 2024.

The MRSI program has administered more than $68 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.