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Receipt of grant funds will improve the reliability and efficiency of a bi-state rail system that serves as a vital link to markets for regional agricultural and forest products. This system reduces the impact of truck traffic on state and county roads, affords competitive low-cost shipping options for both inbound and outbound freight, and provides incentives for new industrial developmentā€”all critical factors to the survival and long-term economic growth of the region. The benefits of rail over truck include safety (fewer fatalities and injuries), a cleaner environment (lower emissions and decreased fuel use), and less congestion. In addition to being a vital cargo freight connection, upgraded lines have the potential for commuter transportation and excursion traffic. These uses will become increasingly feasible as track safety and efficiencies improve.