A new railway upgrade program is expected to take as many as 10,000 semi trucks off the road by streamlining the transportation of grain throughout Kansas.
The new Kansas Department of Transportation Short Line Rail Fund is part of Governor Kelly’s IKE Program, which will funnel five million dollars towards railway improvements for three years. These funds will aid in 13 renovations on three short-line railway systems, and build 15 miles of new track. Repairs will include increased capacity of bridges, improved elevator siding, and additional tracks, which will allow more grain cars to be filled at once.
“It will really benefit rural Kansas and a lot of small communities, some of which don’t have rail service to their grain elevators,” said Ron Seeber, president and CEO Kansas Grain and Feed Association to KSN News.
These repairs could mean quicker payments and fewer truck requirements for farmers, lessening the demand for semi trucks in rural Kansas, as well as potentially reducing damage to roadways.
“Rail is one of the most cost-effective ways to get grain from the farmer to the end-user,” Seeber continued.
“For farmers, instead of having to drive their truck all the way to an elevator a county away, if this is centrally located, they can just bring it to the rail stop.”