Illinois Department of Transportation, Erica Borggren, Acting Secretary
Patrick J. Quinn, Governor
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Rail Freight Program (RFP)

The purpose of the RFP is to provide capital assistance to communities, railroads and shippers to preserve and improve rail freight service in Illinois. The primary role of the program is to facilitate investments in rail service by serving as a link between interested parties and channeling government funds to projects that achieve statewide economic development.

IDOT will generally provide low interest loans to finance rail improvements and, in some cases, provide grants. The focus is on projects with the greatest potential for improving access to markets and maintaining transportation cost savings, and where state participation will leverage private investments to foster permanent solutions to rail service problems. A benefit/cost ratio is used to evaluate potential rail freight projects.

Requests for RFP funds should be sent to the Bureau of Railroads (address following), and should include the following information:

  • A general description of the project and a location map depicting the beginning and ending points
  • Benefits expected from the project (e.g., job creation and retention, transportation saving, etc.)
  • The name of the industries involved, and the name, title, address and telephone number of the principal contact for the project
  • An engineer's cost estimate, if available

For more information on this program, please contact:

Samuel Tuck III
Bureau Chief of Freight Rail and CREATE
Illinois Department of Transportation
100 W. Randolph, Suite 6-600
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 793-3940


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