White House, Pete Buttigieg announces more than $15 million in railroad funding for Nebraska

FULL VIDEO: White House, Pete Buttigieg announce $15 million for Grand Island rail projects
Published: Sep. 25, 2023 at 4:22 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 25, 2023 at 1:37 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - U.S. Dept. of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg made a stop in central Nebraska on Monday, where he discussed a major investment to railroad projects in Nebraska.

Earlier in the day, the Biden-Harris Administration, and more specifically the Federal Railroad Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation, said $15.22 million will go toward the Cornhusker Railroad Regional Connectivity Project.

“The project involves final design and construction activities for track-related improvements, upgrades to certain grade crossings, and expansion of the railcar repair facility,” the press release stated. “These activities will help modernize the Cornhusker Railroad and allow for safer and more efficient operations, such as improving the short line’s interchanging of trains with two Class I railroads. Cathcart Rail, LLC will provide a 20% non-Federal match. This project qualifies for the statutory set-aside for projects in Rural Areas.”

Secretary Buttigieg visited Cathcart facility in Grand Island, located on Old Potash Highway, where he toured the grounds and got a closer look at what goes on there.

“We are extremely honored today,” said Grand Island Mayor Roger Steele. “Thank you for taking time to travel to our great state of Nebraska and especially to the city of Grand Island.”

The secretary recognized Nebraska’s federal delegation, specifically Sen. Deb Fischer for her vote on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that makes this funding possible.

The Infrastructure Law invested more than $1.4 billion into 70 rail improvement projects in 35 states and Washington, D.C., according to the Federal Railroad Administration. Officials added that this is the largest amount ever awarded for rail safety and rail supply chain upgrades through the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements program.

Sec. Buttigieg said we are putting the resources from that infrastructure law to work to make freight rail and passenger rail more reliable, more efficient and more resilient.

“I know how important railroads are to the rise and fall of American communities,” Sec. Buttigieg said.

Sec. Buttigieg added that we need to keep investing in them.

“This is a railway that is clearly so important to businesses and agricultural producers near here, connecting them to other lines that connect them to the entire country,” said Sec. Buttigieg.

Buttigieg said for over a half a century, America didn’t invest enough on rail.

Cathcart Rail’s CEO Casey Cathcart said he’s flattered they were chosen for this event. He said this funding will allow safe efficient movement of rail traffic, giving them funds to rebuild and add on.

Sec. Pete Buttigieg stopped at Cathcart Rail facility in Grand Island after the Biden Administration announced more than $15 million in rail investment in NE.