Governor Kelly Announces Nearly $5 Million for Nine Short Line Rail Projects

TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly today announced nine short line rail maintenance and rehabilitation projects are being awarded nearly $5 million as part of the Kansas Department of Transportation’s Short Line Rail Improvement Fund (SLRIF) program.  

“These nine rail improvement projects will strengthen Kansas’ agriculture supply chain, connecting our farmers and ranchers to regional, national, and international markets,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “My administration will continue to invest in needed and commonsense infrastructure improvements like these to maximize our state’s economic potential.” 

Six SLRIF recipients will use the funds for major track rehabilitation and rail replacement; three projects were awarded funds for siding extensions and storage tracks. These projects support rail enhancements to expand carload capabilities, reduce truck traffic, increase operating speeds, and improve operating efficiencies. 

State funding for the nine projects will be enhanced by a 30% match from each recipient, resulting in a total rail infrastructure investment of nearly $6.5 million.

The program received 19 applications requesting more than $18 million in program funds in this third and final round of funding for the program through IKE, the state’s 10-year bipartisan transportation program. SLRIF made available $5 million each for state fiscal years 2021, 2022, and 2023.

“The Short Line Rail Improvement Fund is another opportunity for KDOT to partner with industry to help modernize and make needed improvements,” Calvin Reed, Acting Secretary of Transportation, said. “Projects awarded through this program serve both short line railroads and their customers by investing in critical infrastructure that helps drive the Kansas economy.”

Selected projects through the SLRIF for State Fiscal Year 2023: 

Project Sponsor 
Project Type
Bestifor Farms in Republic County 
Siding extension 
Cargill – Salina, in Saline County 
Storage tracks 
Gavilon Grain in Sedgwick County 
Major rehabilitation with rail relay 
Garden City Western Railroad in Finney County 
Major rehabilitation with rail relay 
Hi-Plains Cooperative Association in Sheridan County 
Major rehabilitation with siding 
Kansas-Oklahoma Railroad – Wichita South Yard in Sedgwick County 
Major rehabilitation 
Scoular Grain – Pittsburg, in Crawford County 
Siding extension 
South Kansas & Oklahoma Railroad in Elk County 
Rail replacement 
V&S Railway in Barber and Harper counties 
Major rehabilitation 
Total Awarded: