Office of Rail Transportation

Railroad Revolving Loan and Grant Program (RRLGP)


Access Rail is an initiative to expand the ability of the Railroad Revolving Loan and Grant program to assist businesses in accessing and growing Iowa's Rail Transportation System.

The issue in brief

  • Freight transportation is rapidly growing and the rail system is a critical component of the state's overall transportation system. Improvements and expansion of the rail system are vital to accommodate the increased freight being shipped by rail.
  • For businesses, access to rail transportation can lower costs and open more distant markets, which add to the bottom line and help businesses be more profitable and grow.
  • For communities, access to a rail connection can spur job growth and development.
  • For railroads, new customers lead to higher revenues and the capability to invest in improvements to their rail infrastructure.
  • For Iowa, the availability of a strong rail system adds to the state's future economic potential.

The need in brief

Demand for assistance from the RRLGP, which provides financial assistance to build or upgrade rail facilities, has far outstripped available funds. Sixty eight applications requested over $36.5 million in assistance competing for $12.7 million in awards to 32 projects. The Iowa legislature last year appropriated $2 million to the RRLGP fund.

The RRLGP made deferred payment loans to seven railroads in Iowa that experienced severe damage to their infrastructure due to the spring flooding. Fifteen year loans totaling nearly $4 million helped Iowa's smaller railroads get back on their feet and back into business.

The solution

Support an investment by the Iowa General Assembly of $3 million to help build access to rail.

For more complete information on the Access Rail initiative: