Rail Freight Program (RFP)


  • John Schwalbach, Bureau Chief
  • Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT)
  • Bureau of Railroads, 2300 S. Dirksen Parkway, Room 339
  • Springfield, IL 62764
  • Phone: (217) 782-2835
  • Fax: (217) 524-1889
  • TDD:
  • Email: Weber@illinois.gov
  • Website: dot.il.gov/rfp.html

Purpose of the Program

The RFP’s purpose is to provide capital assistance to communities, railroads, and shippers to preserve and improve rail freight service in Illinois. The primary role of the program is to facilitate investments in rail service by serving as a link between interested parties and channeling government funds to projects that achieve statewide economic development.

Who is Eligible

Financing is made available primarily through low-interest loans from the RFP. All projects financed by IDOT must be analyzed and found eligible through the use of a benefit/cost analysis.  Projects with a benefit cost ratio of one or greater are eligible; however, additional criteria must be met before any project funds are obligated.

Application Process

Requests for RFP funds should be sent to Mr. George Weber, Acting  Bureau Chief, Bureau of Railroads and should include the following information: (1) a general description of the project and a location map depicting the beginning and ending points; (2) benefits expected from the project (e.g., job creation and retention, transportation savings, etc.); (3) the name of the industries involved, and the name, title, address, and telephone number of the principal contact for the project; and (4) an engineer’s cost estimate, if available.

Availability of Funds

How Funds are to be used

The program provides funds for capital improvements to rail lines, or for construction or rehabilitation of industrial service tracks and related facilities.

Types of Assistance

Grants, Loans

Year Program was established

1976