The $15.2 million grant has been awarded to Cathcart Rail to fund the Cornhusker Railroad Regional Connectivity Project. GMCO Corp. officials said improvements at the railyard will benefit its business.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg came to Grand Island on Monday to tout the impact a $15.2 million federal grant will have on two companies that operate in Grand Island, Cathcart Rail and GMCO Corp.
Buttigieg appeared at the Cathcart Rail facility west of Grand Island. Before delivering an address, Buttigieg toured the plant.
The grant for Nebraska is part of rail improvement projects the Transportation Department’s Federal Railroad Administration is designating from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
Nationally, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has invested more than $1.4 billion into 70 rail improvement projects in 35 states and Washington, D.C.
Cathcart Rail is a freight rail service and transportation company that operates repair facilities, railroad mechanical field services and short-line railroads. Cathcart, which has been in business seven years, owns Cornhusker Railroad. Cathcart currently has close to 100 employees in Grand Island.
With the $15.2 million grant, Cathcart will rebuild “the full five miles” between the BNSF and Union Pacific tracks, said Casey Cathcart, co-founder, chairman and CEO of the company.
It also will upgrade the yard, add two 2-mile long sidings to “help facilitate better interchange” between BNSF and Union Pacific, and upgrade other rail that will connect to new customers.
Based in Columbus, Ohio, Cathcart Rail employs close to 1,000 people in 100 locations across 33 states.
Cathcart Rail will provide a 20% match for the $15.2 million grant.
GMCO operates a company called GMCO Growth Technologies, which will manufacture fertilizer near the Cathcart facility.
Pictured left to right: Grand Island Mayor Roger Steel; Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO of Cathcart, Casey Cathcart; Transporation Secretary, Pete Buttigieg;Vice President of Business Development of GMCO Corp.
The federal grant will improve GMCO’s service in this area, said Bruce Juelfs of GMCO Corp.
Buttigieg said the grant will generate 12 new jobs and 40 other jobs indirectly. Grand Island Mayor Roger Steele also spoke at the announcement.
“This is the largest amount ever awarded for rail safety and rail supply chain upgrades through the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements program,” the Biden administration said in a press release.
Source: Josh Salmon, Grand Island Independent
Pictures provided by: Brian Vasa – NPPD Economic Development Consultant / Account Manager