(Chadron)-Nebraska North Western Railroad announced Monday afternoon that they have been selected to receive a grant from the US Department of Transportation for rehabilitation of the Chadron rail yard and track west of Chadron. The Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant, or TIGER II grant, will total approximately $4.9 million, and the railroad will need to match approximately $1.2 million. According to Jack Nielsen, President of NNWRR, the award of this grant shows the recognition of need for the railroad in this area.
Nielsen said this is the only TIGER grant that has been awarded to an entity in Nebraska, which shows that the need for a railroad in this area of the state was clearly recognized by the DOT.
Nielsen said that this area of the state is largely agricultural, and with a solid railroad available for transportation, that will help with costs associated with agriculture production.
Anything done to enhance the value of production ripples through the economy, and Nielsen said he knows the importance of enhancing value as he is a farmer himself, and would like to see producers improve their return.
Terry Doyle is the Vice President of Operations, and says that the funding will go toward improving and rehabilitating the infrastructure.
All of the funding will go into the infrastructure, which will include replacing track between Chadron and Dakota Junction, as well as the rail yard in Chadron.
Nielsen said one part of the infrastructure already in place is not only important to operations, but also historic as well.
There is no other operating turntable within a large radius of Chadron, according to Nielsen, so this is not only beneficial to the railroad, but it also provides a bit of historical significance as well.
Some benefits of this grant to the area include increased jobs, and with the availability of transporting agricultural products via railroad, it will save wear and tear on roads as well as reducing the amount of emissions from vehicles that would have hauled the products via the highway system.
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