Gov. Andy Beshear Announces $7.4 Million Grant for Central Kentucky Railroad Modernization Project

Media Contact: Naitore Djigbenou

Media Contact: Chuck Wolfe

FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 9, 2022) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear announced the award of a $7.4 million federal grant for a railroad modernization project that will improve rail safety and efficiency while yielding environmental and traffic-mitigation benefits.

“This is great news for Kentucky and another boost to Kentucky’s rail infrastructure, which is a key part of a thriving economy and transportation system,” Gov. Beshear said.

“This will make it possible for tens of thousands of truckloads of cargo to be diverted from the highway to a rail line. As a result, Kentuckians will benefit from reduced highway traffic and a greener environment due to reduced tailpipe emissions,” Gov. Beshear said.

The grant from the Federal Railroad Administration is to RJ Corman Railroad Co.’s Bluegrass Multimodal Freight Improvement Project.

The project is $12 million in total. RJ Corman will provide a 40% match to the grant, which is from the federal Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) grant program. It is the first CRISI grant ever awarded in Kentucky.

The project is to include construction of a rail-to-truck transload facility at Frankfort, rehabilitation of track on the mainline between Frankfort and Lexington and improvements to the company’s main yard and transload facility in Lexington. The latter includes switch replacements, rehabilitated crossings and track, expanded transload storage pads and paving of truck and traffic areas.

According to the company, the project will benefit many businesses and industries in the region but was designed to specifically support two primary rail users who are significant local employers – Nugent Sand Co., which has 125 employees in the Louisville area, and Washington Penn Plastic Co., which has 98 employees in Frankfort. The project also will support the continued operations of 70 employees of the RJ Corman Central Kentucky Line.

Gov. Beshear supported the company’s application with a written endorsement and a pledge of roadway improvements by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) that will complement the Lexington portion of the project.

RJ Corman estimates that over the next 20-30 years the new transload facility in Frankfort will divert 139,000 truckloads of cargo that otherwise would have to travel on Interstate 64 and local roads.

“Moving these materials by rail instead of truck will yield safer, more efficient and greener transportation,” said KYTC Secretary Jim Gray. “The entire project is a significant, environmentally friendly investment in central Kentucky’s rail infrastructure. It will pay regional economic dividends for years to come.”

RJ Corman is one of 13 freight railroads employing nearly 3,000 Kentuckians and operating on nearly 2,600 miles of track in Kentucky.


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