June 03, 2021

Short Line Railway Improvement Program Supports Vital Rail Service

The Government of Saskatchewan is providing more support to the short line shipping industry through the Short Line Railway Improvement Program (SRIP).

Budget 2021-22 includes $530,000 for SRIP, which will distribute funding grants to the province's short line railway companies.  These grants will assist with track upgrades and expansion, funding improved crossing surfaces and sightlines, bridge maintenance, track rehabilitations and more.

"The short line rail business is a key sector of Saskatchewan's shipping industry and plays a vital role in our economy," Highways Minister Fred Bradshaw said.  "Helping to improve and expand their infrastructure will ensure our grain keeps getting to market and our agriculture producers can stay competitive."

There are 13 provincially-regulated short line railways in Saskatchewan that operate on 2,131 kilometres of track, primarily transporting grain.  Funding will be allocated based on the amount of track each railway owns, with small track networks to receive at least $20,000.

"We are pleased with this financial support from the provincial government," Thunder Rail President Steve Lindsay said.  "This funding helps with our infrastructure and will improve service to our customers.  It is greatly appreciated."

The SRIP also includes track construction projects in its eligibility criteria, with up to 50 per cent of eligible track material and construction costs provided.