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Saskatchewan invests in short line railways

Saskatchewan invests in short line railways

REGINA – The Government of Saskatchewan is investing in short rail through its Short Line Railway Improvement Program (SRIP).

SRIP grants of $530,000 will assist in track upgrades and expansion, bridge maintenance, improved crossing surfaces and sightlines and track rehabilitations, a government release stated.

“We recognize the importance of the short line rail industry and the vital role it plays in supporting our provincial supply chain. Rail provides an important transportation link in moving agricultural goods and other products in and out of the province,” said provincial Highway Minister Jeremy Cockrill in a statement.

Funding is allocated based on the amount of track owned by each railway with small track networks to receive at least $25,000.

“The financial support we have received from the provincial government is welcome not only to our operations, but for the efficient operations of the network of short line rail in the province. This funding helps maintain and improve our infrastructure, which ensures safe and efficient rail service which is critical to support producers as well as exporters of agricultural and other commodity products across Saskatchewan,” added AGT Foods president and CEO Murad Al-Katib.

AGT Foods is the parent company of Mobil Grain and Big Sky Rail.

The funding allocations for 2022-23 are:

  • Southern Rails Cooperative: $25,000
  • Carlton Trail Railway: $37,515
  • Red Coat Road & Rail: $25,000
  • Great Western Railway: $129,909
  • Thunder Rail: $25,000
  • Wheatland Rail: $25,000
  • Torch River Rail: $25,000
  • Great Sandhills Railway: $43,089
  • Last Mountain Railway: $29,155
  • Stewart Southern Railway: $28,297
  • Long Creek Railroad: $25,000
  • Big Sky Rail: $87,035
  • Northern Lights Rail: $25,000

Grants will be provided to all short lines with the Province of Saskatchewan providing up to 50 per cent of eligible project costs.

There are 13 provincially-regulated short line railways in Saskatchewan operating on 2,122 kilometres of track and primarily transporting grain.

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