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CKIN Receives INDOT Grant

Press Release 2/22/06
Local Railroad Receives INDOT Grant to
Improve Operations

The Chesapeake and Indiana Railroad Company has been awarded a $180,000 grant by the Indiana Department of Transportation. The grant is part of more than $1.7 million in Industrial Rail Service Fund (IRSF) grants to eleven short line railroads throughout the state. Lt Governor Becky Skillman, who also serves as Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development said: “These grants are an important step forward as we work to strengthen Indiana’s smaller communities.”

The C & I Railroad plans to use the 2006 grant toward a $340,000 project to build a new connection with the Norfolk Southern Railroad near Thomaston in LaPorte County. The new connection will enable locally grown grain to reach additional distant markets in the southeastern US. The C & I presently connects with the CSX Railroad at Union Mills, Indiana. The 33 mile C & I serves the communities of North Judson, LaCrosse, Malden and Union Mills. It was purchased in 2004 from CSX by the Town of North Judson in order to preserve the line from abandonment.

C & I president Powell Felix thanked the many local political and economic leaders that lent their support to the grant application. “Adding a new rail connection is an investment in infrastructure that will enhance the competitiveness of the area served by the C & I for decades to come. The IRSF grant program fosters a public – private investment relationship that enables projects to go forward that would otherwise not be possible if the financing burden was left solely upon Indiana’s small railroads.”, said Felix. Last year the C & I received an IRSF grant to help improve the track and repair several bridges to handle the heavier 286,000 pound rail cars that are becoming the industry standard.
Customers of the C & I Railroad include Co-Alliance (the former LaPorte County Coop), Bruder Fertilizer, Agriliance and Cargill. The railroad handles outbound grain and inbound fertilizer products for the local agribusiness community. The Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum at North Judson also has access to the railroad and hopes to expand excursion operations, which in turn bring in tourism development to the area.