PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The South Dakota Railroad Board has picked six projects that will be recommended for grants from the Federal Railroad Administration.
The board on Wednesday chose applications from Rapid City, Pierre & Eastern Railroad; DMVW Railroad; D & I Railroad; Ringneck & Western Railroad; and Sisseton Milbank Railroad.
The board also supported most of an application from Belle Fourche Economic Development Corporation, minus lighting, security cameras and a layover area.
The board rejected proposals from the state Department of Transportation to rebuild part of the state-owned Napa line and from the City of Sioux Falls for a Marion Road overpass.
The project sponsors face a December 6 deadline to submit the final versions of the applications to the state department. The Federal Railroad Administration deadline to receive the information is December 15.
Federal Special Transportation Circumstances grants are for use in states such as South Dakota where there isn’t regular passenger-train service.
Here are summaries of the six selected projects:
Dakota, Missouri Valley Western Railroad plans a $26 million upgrade (option C) of the state-owned line between Aberdeen and Geneseo Junction, North Dakota, using a $17,600,361 STC grant and a $7,370,812 state grant.
Information about all eight projects that applied can be found here.
Jack Dokken from the state railroad office said a team of five DOT staff ranked the projects, using the state rail investment guide as a tool. The Napa project topped the list with a 52 score, in large part, according to Dokken, because a state-owned line receives five times the points. The Sioux Falls overpass was last at 40.
Board member Ralph Schmidt recused himself from the discussion and decisions. He is general manager of Sisseton Milbank Railroad.
You can see the railroads currently operating in South Dakota on a map here.