06 Mar Call for Applications – Kansas Rail Service Improvement Fund
This letter is to inform you that effective July 1, 2020, the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) will have approximately $9 million available through the State Rail Service Improvement Fund (SRSIF) for railroad improvement projects. Qualified entities that may submit an application include: any Class III (short line) railroad, as defined in 49 C.F.R., part 1201 holding a certificate of public convenience from the Surface Transportation Board; port authority (established by Kansas Statute) in coordination with the serving railroad (short line or Class 1); local units of government (city or county) in coordination with the serving railroad (short line or Class1); and shippers in coordination with the serving railroad (short line or Class 1).
Based on what KDOT’s executive management team heard from our short line railroad stakeholders and shippers during the agency’s public outreach meetings in late 2019, the RSIF structure will be modified to a grant match program. Effective March 1, 2020 the SRSIF will become a grant/match program. Of total project costs, a maximum of 60% will be in the form of a grant and the applicant will be responsible for a 40% match. Additional consideration will be given to applications with a higher project match percentage.
Project categories include: major rail line rehabilitation/rail replacement; capacity enhancement; 286K upgrades (mainline and/or bridges); and equipment. A benefit-cost analysis (BCA) will be conducted on all applications. The resulting benefit-cost ratio (BCR) must be at least one (1.0) for the project to qualify for potential funding. Qualifying projects will be ranked based on: benefit-cost ratio; completeness of application; improved operating efficiencies; increased car loadings; improved service to customers/new customers; job creation; inclusion of required serving railroad Memorandum of Understanding (if shipper, port authority or local unit of government is the applicant); and geographic distribution. It is possible that all qualifying projects may not be funded should the project costs of all qualifying projects exceed the amount of funds available.
On March 16, 2020 from 10:00 am – 11:00 am KDOT will be conducting a conference call to review SRSIF program modifications, updated program and project guidelines, and program objectives. Invitations to this conference call will be sent out in a separate announcement.
The SRSIF application form can be accessed from the KDOT webpage
Please complete and return your application and any supporting documents to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than April 15, 2020. Updated guidelines for the SRSIF Program are attached. It is anticipated that project award announcements will be made no later than May 22, 2020.
If you have questions, please contact Eddie Dawson, KDOT Rail Project Coordinator, at email@example.com or 785.296.3219.
The program is for the purpose of facilitating major rail line rehabilitation/rail replacement; capacity enhancement; track construction and 286K upgrades (mainline and/or bridges) projects
• Qualified entities include any Class III railroad, as defined in 49 C.F.R., part 1201, holding a certificate of public convenience from the Surface Transportation Board, port authority established in accordance with Kansas law, and any governmental unit, port authority (established by Kansas Law) or Kansas shipper in coordination with the serving railroad
• Qualified entities will submit a project application to the Kansas Department of Transportation, Freight and Rail Unit
• The ratio of benefits to costs (benefit-cost analysis) for any project shall be greater than one (1.0)
• The qualified entity shall demonstrate that it is financially sound and capable of fulfilling all obligations created by the agreement to perform the project
• If the qualified entity is a governmental unit or Kansas shipper, a letter of agreement from the serving railroad acknowledging project coordination with the qualified entity is required. If the serving railroad operates over trackage rights there will also need to be coordination with the rail line owner.
• The qualified entity shall demonstrate that operations will be made more efficient by raising the minimum operating speeds from FRA Class 1 (up to 10 mph) to FRA Class 2 (10-25 mph) standards, OR from FRA Class 2 (10-25 mph) to FRA Class 3 (25-39 mph) standards
• The qualified entity shall demonstrate that the project for which funding is sought will result in road or highway maintenance costs savings for the state and local government entities
• The qualified entity shall demonstrate the commitment of capital, or the guarantee of a set amount of rail traffic by local shippers, government entities or other interested parties, to the qualified entity for the continued operation of rail service for which funding is sought
• The qualified entity agrees not to abandon rehabilitated line (project) during the 10 years following the project Notice of Acceptance date
• A minimum of 1,000 new crossties per mile will be installed on all major rehabilitation and capacity enhancement projects. A minimum of 1,250 new crossties per mile is preferred
• Granite Ballast will be distributed at a rate per mile that will transmit and distribute the load of the track and railroad rolling equipment to the subgrade; restrain the track laterally, longitudinally and vertically under dynamic loads; provide adequate drainage for the track; and maintain proper track cross-level, surface and alignment.
• An adequate amount of Other Track Material (OTM) including, but not limited to, spikes, bolts, anchors, joint bars, and tie plates are to be installed on all major rehabilitation projects to complement the installation of required new crossties, rail if applicable, and granite ballast. Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) minimum track classification standards apply to all projects.
• If a project includes mainline rail replacement, a minimum of 112-pound rail is required
• Project shall meet all FRA and AREMA guidelines
• A final project inspection will be conducted by a third-party FRA qualified track inspector