“President Obama has called on us to invest in transportation systems that are built to last. This important opportunity represents a win-win scenario for both workers and the traveling public by helping to create manufacturing jobs and support passenger rail.” - Secretary Ray LaHood
Photo credit: Photo courtesy of USDOT.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced a $54.6 million loan to Kansas City Southern Railway Company (KCSR) for the purchase of 30 new General Electric ES44AC locomotives. These diesel-electric locomotives, built in Erie, Pa., will help KCSR meet increasing economic demand, and are more energy-efficient and produce significantly less carbon emissions than the locomotives they are replacing.
"We are seeing President Obama's commitment to rail boost manufacturing all across America," said Secretary LaHood. "This is the kind of investment in our transportation systems that creates jobs, boosts the economy and improves the flow of goods."
In addition to energy and environmental benefits, these new locomotives will allow KCSR to create a safer operating environment through improved train handling, more crashworthy cabs, and state-of-the-art train controls, which will promote crew alertness. The locomotives will be deployed throughout KCSR's system to accommodate the increased demand for shipments of coal, chemicals, grain, sand, stone, gravel, plastics, metals and automobiles.
The loan is from the Federal Railroad Administration's Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) Program.
"The RRIF program is a model of how we can leverage federal dollars to stimulate private investment and grow the economy," said Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph C. Szabo. "The program provides steady, affordable financing for major rail construction and expansion projects."
The Federal Railroad Administration's RRIF program provides direct loans for eligible borrowers to acquire, improve, or rehabilitate rail and rail-related intermodal equipment and facilities. There is currently up to an aggregate of $35 billion available in the RRIF program for these types of projects. RRIF offers a responsible approach to supplementing capital investment for all types of railroads. For more information about the RRIF program, please visit www.fra.dot.gov.