Governor Kelly Announces Nearly $16.5M for Short Line Rail Projects to Improve Agricultural Supply Chain

TOPEKAGovernor Laura Kelly announced today that nearly $16.5 million will go toward 17 short line rail expansion and rehabilitation projects. These investments, made through the Kansas Department of Transportation’s Rail Service Improvement Program (RSIP), will improve the state’s agriculture supply chain.  

“These needed rail infrastructure improvements will lift up rural Kansas and, in doing so, will maximize the economic potential of the entire state,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “By strengthening agriculture supply chains, my administration is helping our farmers and ranchers connect to regional, national, and international markets.” 

RSIP recipients will use the funds for expansion and capacity improvements, major track rehabilitation, and rail replacement. These projects support rail improvements that enhance safety, expand carload capabilities, reduce truck traffic, increase operating speeds, and improve operating efficiencies.  

State funding for the 17 projects will be enhanced by a 30% match from each recipient, resulting in a total rail infrastructure investment of more than $23.5 million. The program received 26 applications requesting more than $39 million in total costs through IKE, the state’s 10-year bipartisan transportation program. 

“Rail service lessens the number of trucks that would otherwise be on local roads and Kansas highways, which reduces roadway maintenance and rehabilitation needs,” Secretary of Transportation Calvin Reed said. “Having different modes of quality transportation strengthens our state and creates new economic development opportunities for Kansas communities.” 

Selected projects through the RSIP for State Fiscal Year 2024: 

Project Sponsor Project Type Award
Cimarron Valley Railroad, Ford County Expansion/Capacity improvements  $2,233,946
Summit Sustainable Ingredients, Phillips County Expansion/Capacity improvements  $1,436,595
South Kansas & Oklahoma Railroad, Cowley County Major rehabilitation  $319,802
South Kansas & Oklahoma Railroad, Elk County Expansion/Capacity improvements  $1,947,101
The Scoular Company, Sherman County Qualified track maintenance  $230,002
Kansas & Oklahoma Railroad, Sedgwick County Major rehabilitation  $859,221
New Century AirCenter Railroad (JCAX), Johnson County Major rehabilitation  $1,400,594
Kyle Railroad, Cloud County Major rehabilitation  $811,440
Viterra USA Grain, Sedgwick County Major rehabilitation  $562,332
Hutchinson Transportation (HUTX), Reno County Major rehabilitation  $586,906
Weskan Grain, Scott County Expansion/Capacity improvements  $1,472,240
Central Prairie Co-op, Rice County Expansion/Capacity improvements  $880,110
Garden City Western Railway, Finney County Preservation/Major rehabilitation  $695,056
Mid-States Materials, Reno County Expansion/Capacity improvements  $911,826
Midway Co-op, Smith County Major rehabilitation  $422,835
Farmers Co-op, Sumner County Qualified track maintenance  $39,057
V&S Railway, Barber/Harper counties Preservation/Major rehabilitation  $1,657,799
Total Awarded  $16,466,862