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DOT AWARDS $1.5 MILLION TO 43 STATES FOR RAIL ASSISTANCE

 WASHINGTON, Dec. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Department of Transportation announced today that the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is awarding $1.5 million in fiscal year 1994 in entitlement funding to 43 states.
 "These funds are crucial to the states and railroads because they are the sole source of assistance for statewide rail planning on a continuous basis. Rail planning funds enable states to evaluate options for ensuring continued rail freight service on lines which connect rural America and local communities to the national transportation system. These local rail lines are the economic lifelines for many area businesses," FRA Administrator Jolene M. Molitoris said.
 The funding comes from the FRA's Local Rail Freight Assistance (LFRA) Program. States have the option of using the grants to continue statewide rail transportation planning or devote the funding to freight rail projects which are a critical investment in the nation's transportation infrastructure.
 Freight rail projects typically involve the rehabilitation or construction of facilities such as connections, sidings, bridges and intermodal terminals.
 Of the states that submitted entitlement applications by the October statutory deadline, Kansas, Kentucky and Oklahoma requested to use their funds for track rehabilitation.
 Molitoris added: "These funds demonstrate the department's strong commitment to rail. LFRA is a prime example of a successful public- private partnership among federal, state and local governments, the rail industry and its customers."
 The states receiving planning assistance are:
 Alabama Missouri
 Alaska Montana
 Arizona Nebraska
 Arkansas Nevada
 California New Hampshire
 Colorado New Mexico
 Connecticut New York
 Delaware North Carolina
 Florida North Dakota
 Georgia Ohio
 Illinois Oregon
 Indiana Pennsylvania
 Iowa Rhode Island
 Louisiana South Dakota
 Maine Texas
 Maryland Vermont
 Massachusetts Virginia
 Michigan Washington
 Minnesota Wisconsin
 Mississippi West Virginia
 -0- 12/2/93
 /CONTACT: John F. Fitzpatrick of the Federal Railroad Administration, 202-366-0811/


CO: U.S. Department of Transportation; Federal Railroad Administration ST: District of Columbia IN: TRN SU:

DT-MH -- DC666 -- 9931 12/02/93 15:46 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 2, 1993
Words:318
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