The group that is seeking funding to advance a plan to build a passenger rail service through southern Montana, The Big Sky Passenger Rail Authority (BSPRA), has been awarded a $150,000 grant to explore the feasibility of the project. The grant was awarded by  the Pacific Northwest Economic Region’s Regional Infrastructure Accelerator (PNWER) , a federal agency whose goal is to further high-performance rail across the region. This constitutes the largest planning grant received by BSPRA to-date.

U.S. Department of Transportation’s Build America Bureau awarded the Pacific NorthWest Economic Region (PNWER) a grant to continue advancing infrastructure development through the five-state Regional Infrastructure Accelerator for which it has oversight of Alaska, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.

The public funds will finance the development of a feasibility and economic study. It will look for opportunities to “bundle” track improvement that could benefit passenger and freight rail service, and for possible development of transit near rail stations. 

It would analyze track from Sandpoint, ID, to Glendive, MT, along proposed Amtrak North Coast Hiawatha route to identify small to medium track improvement projects for enhanced freight and passenger rail service for rural communities and tribal nations.


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