LAS VEGAS, NEV. – The Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) is accepting public feedback and hosting a February 16 virtual rail summit to finalize the Nevada State Rail Plan, outlining potential new and enhanced railroad facilities to create a more efficient and sustainable statewide transportation network.
The public can visit www.nevadadot.com/mobility and select “Rail Planning” (direct link: https://www.nevadadot.com/mobility/rail-planning/state-rail-plan/-fsiteid-1) to gather updates and provide feedback through March 4 on rail improvements to enhance Nevada’s transportation network.
The plan will be finalized following public comment and a virtual statewide rail summit on Feb. 16. The summit will provide an overview of plan recommendations and strategies and gather stakeholder and public feedback. Interested members of the public can register for the free summit by visiting the rail plan web site.
Currently, rail carries 23 percent of all Nevada freight tonnage. With a mile-long train equaling the freight capacity of a 26-mile convoy of trucks, targeted rail improvements could optimize existing freight networks to improve travel time reliability, reduce vehicle emissions and support Nevada’s economic development.
NDOT brought together more than 200 rail, economic development and government leaders to analyze current and future shipping and transportation needs and draft a plan outlining more than 50 potential rail infrastructure projects to create economic advantages and transportation efficiencies.
The plan outlines options to improve and integrate rail through local and private sector investment in eight regions of the state. Rail improvements listed in the plan become eligible for federal grant funding, opening the opportunity for local government and economic development partners to potentially pursue the rail improvements in the future.
“By optimizing freight distribution across Nevada, rail transportation can contribute to more reliable and safer roads. Ultimately, the statewide rail plan will paint a blueprint for potential rail improvements to augment our existing freight systems and provide jobs, tax revenue and business opportunities, not to mention enhance mobility, traffic safety and the environment for Nevada’s families,” NDOT rail planning manager Lee Bonner explained. “It sets us on a path to fully utilize rail for an integrated and sustainable statewide freight transportation network.”