The US state of Wisconsin has finalised the purchase of a 70-mile segment of rail line between Madison to Reedsburg and Madison to Cottage Grove from the Union Pacific Railroad (UP).
Earlier this year, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) signed an agreement with UP to acquire this rail corridor to support its freight rail system.
This acquisition will help the state to have around 600 miles of track in the region. This segment also includes a bridge over Lake Wisconsin at the village of Merrimac.
Wisconsin governor Scott Walker said: "This significant investment is yet another example of our state’s continued commitment to a strong transportation system, which is vital to growing Wisconsin’s economy."
This $30m acquisition was made possible with the support of the Wisconsin River Rail Transit Commission (WRRTC) by using funds from the Freight Rail Preservation Program.
This programme aimed to provide financial support to local units of government, industries and railroads for the purpose of preserving and rehabilitating essential rail lines.
The line will be operated by Wisconsin & Southern Railroad (WSOR) under lease with the WRRTC. WSOR transported 5,070 cars on the Madison to Reedsburg and Cottage Grove line in 2013, serving 23 customers.
Approximately 33% or roughly 180 million tons of Wisconsin’s total freight are moved by railroads every year.
The freight rail tonnage shipped in Wisconsin is expected to increase by 16% during 2007 to 2030, WisDOT said.
Meanwhile, North America’s BNSF Railway had agreed to allocate roughly $50m in Wisconsin to expand capacity or maintain the network infrastructure.