R.J. Corman Railroad Group will receive a federal Department of Transportation grant to strengthen freight transportation between Lexington and Frankfort.
On Thursday Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, and U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Kentucky, announced the company was awarded $7.3 million as part of the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) grant program.
“Kentucky is where America’s rail, road, and river transportation systems meet. I’m proud to partner with local stakeholders to fund improvements to these important arteries and secure the commonwealth’s place as a national transportation hub,” McConnell said. “The grant announced today will increase speed, efficiency, and safety on one of Kentucky’s keystone rail lines. Those improvements will support jobs and commerce in the commonwealth for years to come.”
The freight railroad system carries more than 17,000 rail carloads per year.
The first project will create a new freight rail-to-truck transload facility just outside of Frankfort. Additionally, the grant award will pave the way for improvement projects to the existing main yard and transload facility in Lexington. The repairs include rehabilitating grade crossings and track, a new office building, switching replacements, expanding transload storage pads, as well as paving truck and traffic areas.
“Expanding and enhancing freight transportation on the R.J. Corman Central Kentucky Lines will be a tremendous boost for commerce in Central Kentucky,” Barr stated. “I strongly advocated for this grant project through a letter of support to the U.S. Department of Transportation, and I voted for the funding used to award this grant. I look forward to seeing these improvements fully implemented and the impact they will have on our region.”
This funding provides R.J. Corman the ability to maintain current track speeds and provides the necessary rehabilitation to the rail line that will allow for continued carload growth in the coming years.
The funding for this grant comes from the Fiscal Year 2021 government funding bill McConnell supported as a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. He contacted the Secretary of Transportation on behalf of R.J. Corman in support of this important investment in Kentucky’s infrastructure.
Barr voted for the 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act which contained funding for the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements Grant Program used to fund this grant. He also wrote a letter of support to the Federal Railroad Administration advocating for the approval of this grant.
“These federal funds will allow us to make critically needed improvements to our freight line between Frankfort and Lexington, bringing enhanced speed and safety to businesses around the commonwealth,” explained R.J. Corman Railroad Group President and CEO Ed Quinn III.
“This project will allow us to increase our efficiency serving the customers of the RJ Corman Central Kentucky Line.”