TDOT Railroad Grant Programs

Short Line Railroad Preservation Grants

The purpose of Tennessee’s Short Line Railroad Preservation Grant Program is to preserve rail service to local communities and expand rail connectivity to sites along existing rail corridors. The focus of the program is on facilitating the efficient and economical movement of freight within Tennessee by strengthening the network of short line railroads in the state.

In the Fiscal Year 2022 Tennessee General Appropriations Bill, Governor Bill Lee provided $85 million in funding for the Short Line Railroad Preservation Grant program. Beginning July 1, 2021, these new funds are available to Authorities for preservation projects.

Grants from the Transportation Equity Trust Fund are also provided when available to Authorities established pursuant to state statute in order to preserve and maintain essential rail transportation. TDOT requires Authorities to be actively involved in the management of grant funds.

Program Guidance and Procedures

Download a fillable FY24 program application here.

Download the CY 2023 Annual Operator Report fillable form here.

Short Line Railroad 2020 Needs Assessment

Recently TDOT contracted with Moffatt & Nichol, a railroad consulting firm, to complete a needs assessment of all short line railroads in Tennessee. Initial estimates, along with survey questions, were shared with short line authorities, engineers, and operators to gain feedback on the estimates and how any future rail preservation funds should be spent. To access the complete needs assessment, please click the link below.

2020 Short Line Needs Assessment

For more information on these programs, contact Kathy Combs (615)741-7894