Ohio.gov State Agencies  |  Online Services
Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Sign In

Rail Improvement Program


The Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC) provides assistance to companies for new rail and rail-related infrastructure. The goal of this program is to promote the retention and development of Ohio companies through the use of effective rail transportation. Additionally, companies who are considering adding rail to existing operations in the state are also eligible under this program. ORDC works closely with Ohio Development Services Agency, JobsOhio, and other public and private development related organizations to provide assistance to companies. For funding consideration, an applicant may need to provide some or all of the information below:

Grant funding is generally limited to projects where significant job creation or retention is involved (25 or more jobs). Applicants must commit to job creation/retention numbers subject to contractual clawbacks. Further, applicants are required to commit to rail usage, also subject to clawbacks.
ORDC loan financing is available to qualified applicants even when jobs are NOT being created or retained. ORDC's standard loan package is a five year loan term and an interest rate which equals 2/3 of prime at the time of the loan closing. Collateral or a letter of credit is required.
ORDC-assisted rail projects on publicly-owned infrastructure are generally subject to Ohio’s prevailing wage requirements. Please consult with ORDC staff for further guidance, including a determination of prevailing wage applicability, as projects are being developed.


ORDC Grant and Loan Application



  1. Map of where the line is located (Google Earth or equivalent).
  2. Track charts for the line.
  3. Scope of the proposed Project:
    • Physical limits of the project (MP to MP).
    • Type of work being done.
    • Cost estimate, internal or prepared by a qualified contractor.
    • Timing of the project.
  4. Owner of the project section once the project is completed and the entity responsible for the maintenance (if different than owner).
  5. The cost breakdown of the proposed project by funding source.
  6. The maintenance expense, capital expenditure and revenues of the applicant or operating railroad for the most recent three (3) years.
  7. The benefit of the project to the railroad.
  8. Shipper contact information for each shipper on the line.
  9. Railcar loadings for the last three (3) years by shipper, including commodity and inbound/outbound splits.
  10. Explain how ORDC funding assists with the completion of the project.
  11. Explain how the Project meets one or more of the following ORDC Objectives:
    • Preserve and enhance existing rail lines and corridors.
    • Provide rail access to retain existing and attract new businesses.
    • Provide Ohio’s communities and industries with transportation options, connectivity and opportunities.
    • Improve safety at grade crossings.
    • Reduce derailments.
    • Improve environmental quality, especially in terms of air quality.
    • Improve on-time performance.
    • Preserve, maintain, expand and modernize Ohio’s rail system.
    • Preserve existing tracks and rights of way for future use.
    • Improve access to global and domestic markets.
    • Provide improved transportation choices for Ohio communities and industries.



  1. Briefly describe overall company, including parent organization if applicable. Include products made, locations of plants, markets served, overall size in terms of sales volumes and employees, and other relevant data.
  2. Provide detailed description of the project including:
    • Description as to how new plant or expansion fits into the company’s operations;
    • Investment broken down by building, land, equipment and machinery, and inventory;
    • Descriptions of building (sq. ft.), land (acreage), & equipment and machinery;
    • Products to be produced, services rendered, markets served, and major competitors;
    • Map, diagram, building layout plan or other graphic showing the location of the new plant or plant expansion including the existing and proposed rail infrastructure as well as serving railroad line;
    • Description of rail construction including the length of new track, new turnouts, description of related track rehabilitation and related information;
    • Detailed cost estimate of all new rail infrastructure and any track rehabilitation work; and
    • Projected time frame for new plant construction/expansion.
  3. Describe benefits resulting from new plant or expansion, including:
    • Number of jobs company will commit to create within three years;
    • Number of jobs company will commit to retain;
    • Average hourly wages for jobs created or retained;
    • Number of new rail carloads company will commit to generate within three years as well as major origins and destinations of the rail traffic; and
    • Additional benefits to Ohio.
  4. For the projected rail carloads, provide an estimate of the costs of moving the freight via rail as compared to moving it by truck or other transportation options (e.g. transload).
  5. Provide a statement regarding whether any of the jobs created will result from displacing jobs at any other Ohio facility.
  6. Provide a list of incentives and their value to the company or project provided by: local sources; other state agencies; federal agencies; and the serving railroad company.  


  1. Acquisition cost and financing plan, including why the line acquisition cannot be financed through private lenders.
  2. Copy of rail line appraisal, or evidence of the valuation.
  3. Pro Forma or other business plan detailing service plans after acquisition.
  4. Evidence of clear title by seller.
  5. Describe Rail Line to be acquired including:
    • Mileposts and end points of entire line; mileposts of line portion to be acquired;
    • Location map and track charts;
    • Connections to other railroads from line;
    • Rail users on the line along with commodities shipped & received for the last three years;
    • Overhead traffic on the line by volume and commodity for last three years; and
    • Description of line condition and detailed breakdown of track rehabilitation needs.
  6. Describe Project Benefits, including:
    • Explanation of importance of rail line for rail users and overhead traffic;
    • Breakdown of the number of people employed by rail-dependent rail users;
    • Explanation of importance of rail line to rail users including rail-truck cost differentials.
  7. Project future increased usage of the line by:
    • Existing customers; and
    • Potential new customers.
  8. Provide a listing and description of industrial parks and sites located along the line including availability of other key infrastructure such as sewer, water, roads, electricity, gas, etc.
  9. Describe any additional sources of revenue generation associated with the property (i.e. cellular telephone towers, fiber optic lines, billboards, additional property, etc.)


ORDC Grant and Loan Application