TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – The U.S. Department of Transportation recently awarded a $16 million Transportation Investment Generating Recovery (TIGER) grant for the rehabilitation of the Southwest Chief Amtrak line. The grant will rehabilitate railway segments in Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico.
“High-performing Infrastructure is vital to every region of Kansas,” said Governor Jeff Colyer, M.D. “The investment that the U.S. DOT has made into this area of Kansas’ infrastructure is a reflection of how vital Kansas is to doing the business of the nation.”
The Kansas portion of the grant will rehabilitate approximately five miles of the remaining 21 miles needing rehabilitation with new rail, turnouts, and road crossings. The Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico departments of transportation contributed $1 million each while Amtrak and Burlington Northern Santa Fe contributed $3 million each as well.
“Kansas ranks in the top ten for railroad miles in the nation, with that comes a necessity to continue to rehabilitate and modernize our railroads,” said Transportation Secretary Richard Carlson. “With the investment into the Southwest Chief, Kansas looks forward to working with our other state partners in providing this valuable service.”
This is the third TIGER grant awarded to the states and cities along the route for rehabilitation of the railway owned by BNSF. This grant funding is great news for Kansas. Improvements to the railway will improve the efficiency of the freight moving along this route and improve the travel times and safety of the Southwest Chief service.