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“The nation’s short lines are much more than a quaint name on the Monopoly Board, providing rail service into three of the nations’ busiest ports—Miami, Los Angles, and Long Beach,” stated Baker. “Likewise, various short line railroads operate as neutral switch carriers for multiple Class I railroads in key transportation hubs such as Chicago, New Orleans, and St. Louis.”
During the hearing, “Connecting America: Examining Intermodal Connections Across Our Surface Transportation Network,” Baker detailed infrastructure funding grant programs such as CRISI, INFRA and BUILD that have been used by short lines. He also urged support for Short Line 45G Tax Credit. “I know that tax legislation is not the purview of this Committee, but as the Committee that is the most knowledgeable when it comes to railroad infrastructure matters, I urge you to take our tax credit message to your Senate colleagues whenever and however the subject of transportation infrastructure is addressed in this Congress, and to address tax extenders expeditiously,” Baker said.
Baker offered multiple general provisions which would be important for short line participation in grant programs, including direct eligibility for short lines and simple and transparent processes for grant application and evaluation.
This article first appeared on www.railwayage.com
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