PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Three South Dakota projects proposed by commercial owners of railroads made the cut Wednesday for possible partial funding from a pool of federal grant money.

The South Dakota Railroad Board has nearly $7 million available through the Special Transportation Circumstances program under the Federal Railroad Administration.

South Dakota, Wyoming and Alaska get STC funds because they lack passenger rail service.

The South Dakota board considered six projects and decided to submit at least three. They are:

New railroad infrastructure in Plankinton for the Ringneck and Western Railroad on the former state-owned line west of Mitchell. Proposed are a 558-foot locomotive shop track and two 1,500-foot transload tracks. The state board approved seeking a $1.8 million federal grant for the $3 million project.

Rebuilding parts of the D&I Railroad in southeastern South Dakota. Proposed are replacing 5.8 miles of rail in South Dakota and 1.7 miles of rail in Iowa. The state board approved seeking a $1.1 million federal grant for the $4 million South Dakota portion of the project.

Seven culvert and one bridge replacements on the Rapid City, Pierre & Eastern Railroad, at various spots between Fort Pierre and Phillip, and in the Boxelder Creek drainage near New Underwood. The state board approved seeking a federal grant of $800,000 for the $1 million project.

That would leave more than $2 million available for other projects. January 29, 2022, is the deadline for the current round of applications.

“They (grant money) don’t go away if you don’t obligate them all today,” state Transportation Secretary Joel Jundt told the state board’s members.

The board delayed a decision on Sisseton Milbank Railroad. Board members said they want a decision from Wheaton Dumont Co-op on expanding the Sisseton grain elevator to handle longer trains.

The board indicated a willingness to consider a low-interest loan from the state railroad trust fund for part of the $3.1 million industrial-yard project west of Brandon that Ellis & Eastern proposed.

Belle Fourche Economic Development Corporation withdrew its application for a two-track rail park.