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The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Credit Council last month recommended the approval of two federal loans for freight-rail projects through the Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) Program, according to an item in the latest edition of the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association's "View & News."The council's recommendation is one of the final steps in the RRIF loan approval process.One recommended RRIF loan would be issued to the Port of Stockton, Calif., which is seeking $8.2 million to expand rail capacity by reconfiguring and rehabilitating legacy lines and constructing new rail infrastructure. The port is served by BNSF Railway Co., Union Pacific Railroad and switching carrier Central California Traction Co.The other recommended RRIF loan would be given to Peterson Industrial Properties LLC and Rocky Mountain Rail Car & Repair LLC, which applied for $18.6 million to boost capacity at Rocky Mountain's shop near Salt Lake City. The work calls for constructing rail spurs and yard tracks, and completing associated improvements. The loan also would help refinance debt incurred for the acquisition of the former Tooele Army Depot as part of the facility's development.The work would support an anticipated business expansion at Rocky Mountain due to tank car and car building certifications the company has applied for through the Association of American Railroads. Served by UP, Rocky Mountain provides various rail-car services, including general inspections, maintenance and repair; tank-car cleaning and disposal; and rebuilds and upgrades. The company also provides short-line switching services to various tenants in the depot property and rail-car storage services.Managed by the Federal Railroad Administration, the RRIF program provides direct loans and loan guarantees to finance the development of rail infrastructure, such as to acquire, build, improve or rehabilitate track and rail intermodal facilities. The program can lend up to $35 billion with loan terms as long as 35 years.
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