Rail Industrial Access Fund
The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation administers the Rail Industrial Access Fund which promotes truck to rail diversion by connecting new or expanding businesses to the freight rail network. The program is available to industries, businesses or localities. The RIAF supports economic development efforts in localities where new or expanding businesses require rail access.Discretionary , DRPT , Infrastructure
The Commonwealth’s Rail Industrial Access Fund (RIAF) is administered by the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) and is governed by Section 33.2-1600 of the Code of Virginia. The goal of the program is to promote truck diversion by connecting new or expanding businesses to the freight rail network. The program is available to localities, businesses, or industries. The program uses the following metrics:
- Increase in number of rail carloads along the route
- Value of capital investment in Virginia
RIAF was created in 1987 by the Virginia General Assembly, who declared it to be in the public interest that access railroad tracks and facilities be constructed to certain industrial commercial sites where rail freight service is or may be needed by new or substantially expanding businesses. The program has achieved its public benefit by diverting truck traffic to rail and supporting economic development efforts in localities where new or expanding businesses require rail access. With the recent recession, many businesses did not meet their contract goal number of carloads which prompted the Commonwealth Transportation Board and DRPT to review the performance metrics and public benefit of the program. As a result of this review, the program is now designed to better attract new and expanding businesses which require rail access.
Houff’s Feed & Fertilizer Company – In July 2012, the Commonwealth Transportation Board approved funding for Houff’s Feed & Fertilizer Company, Inc. to extend rail to its Hanover, Virginia transload facility. The facility is located on the Buckingham Branch Railroad. As of their latest performance data, this facility has far exceeded their contract goal of 600 railcars per year and had a capital investment of $1.02 million.