Arkansas Midland Railroad to Receive $2.7 Million Federal GrantSeptember 15th, 2011 by News Release
U.S. Representative Mike Ross and U.S. Senators Mark Pryor and John Boozman have announced the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department will receive a $2,721,435 federal grant to rehabilitate and improve 40 miles of railroad track along the Warren Branch of the Arkansas Midland Railroad, a short line railroad located in southeastern Arkansas. The grant will help fund improvements to tracks in Bradley, Chicot and Drew counties.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), which issued the grant, said the planned improvements will remedy poor track conditions caused by inadequate drainage and heavy freight loads that have contributed to washouts, broken rails, derailments and the imposition of slow orders by the FRA, reducing train speeds.
“Rail continues to be an important part of the economy throughout Arkansas, particularly in the Delta,” said Ross. “Rail is critical to almost every industry in our state, from manufacturing to agriculture and timber. By improving these rail lines, we not only make transportation safer, but also more efficient. This investment will help businesses throughout southeastern Arkansas strengthen and grow their operations, boosting our economy and creating more jobs.”
“Strong transportation infrastructure is critical to economic development and job growth in our local communities,” Pryor said. “This funding will help the Arkansas Midland Railroad make important infrastructure upgrades to improve efficiency and expand business opportunities in southeast Arkansas.”
“Improving our railroad infrastructure is a sound investment that will provide jobs to construct the line while in the long-term creating a lasting economic opportunities in eastern Arkansas,” Boozman said.