Panhandle Northern Railroad has been approved for a grant valued up to $2.164 million to install new ballast and ties on the 31 mile line which connects to a BNSF Railway Co. mainline, to improve safety and security of transporting carloads of hazardous materials.
The city of Borger, Texas, submitted an application for the federal grant through the 2018 Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) program.
The CRISI grant, provided by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017 and supported by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), offered $65 million to be allocated throughout the U.S. to enhance railroad infrastructure and safety improvements.
The city of Borger was joined in the application by two co-applicants: The Panhandle Northern Railroad, LLC (PNR), and the Panhandle Regional Planning Commission.
The project will involve the installation of more than 13,000 new crossties, and 13,000 tons of new ballast to further secure the track structure along the PNR’s 31-mile owned right-of way.
Officials say the project suggests strategies to decrease the derailment risk on PNR and enable the continued and improved safe transportation of more than 10,000 carloads of materials, including sensitive materials such as anhydrous ammonia, refined gasoline, crude oil, toxic corrosive liquids, and more than 1,000 carloads of other hazardous materials. The project is also set to promote economic vitality for the Borger area and the Texas Panhandle Region.
“The City of Borger is excited about this opportunity to help the railroad and our industrial partners in the community. Industry is a part of who we are as a community and we are pleased to be able to step up and help out with this opportunity,” said Mayor Bubba Dixon. “This project would directly support the safety of our community and will enhance the economic prosperity of Borger as it is implemented." Panhandle Northern Railroad (PNR) is a former Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe (now BNSF) line which operates on 31 miles of track and runs between the towns of Panhandle and Borger, Texas. Borger is the home of the nation’s largest inland petrochemical complex. PNR handles carbon black, liquid petroleum gas, chemicals, petroleum products, scrap metal, and fertilizer.