Rail Freight Loan Program

The purpose of the Rail Freight Loan Program 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.

The program generally provides low interest loans to finance rail improvements.  Under special circumstances grants may be considered.  


The focus of the program is on projects with the greatest potential for improving access to markets and maintaining transportation cost savings, by using state participation to leverage private investments to foster permanent solutions to rail service problems. Metrics that contribute to overall economic development will be used to assess the eligibility of projects.


Requests for loans through the Rail Freight Loan Program should include the following information:

  • General description of the project and a location map depicting the beginning and ending points.
  • Benefits expected from the project (e.g., job creation and retention, transportation saving, etc.).
  • The name of the industries involved, and the name, title, address and telephone number of the principal contact for the project.
  • An engineer's cost estimate, if available.


Coming Soon!

Need Help?

Samuel Tuck III
Bureau Chief, Freight Rail Management
Illinois Department of Transportation
69 W. Washington St., Suite 2100
Chicago, IL 60602