(Havre) – With Big Sky Passenger Rail Receiving a grant for $150,000 New Media Broadcasters sat down with Dave Strohmaier Chairman of the Big Sky Passenger Rail Authority how the rail service plans to use the money.
“So, we are delighted to be a sub recipient of that is flowing to PNWER’s Regional Infrastructure Accelerator and this is to the tune of $150,000 this is ultimately originating through the U.S. Department of Transpiration’s Build America Bureau and what we had developed with the Pacific Northwest Economic Development Region’s Regional Infrastructure Accelerator is twofold. So, one of the things we will be funding with this grant award is doing a full-scale study and analysis of what it would take to resume small parcel delivery service. The Second piece of what these dollars would be going towards is conducting stake holder engagement across both northern Montana and through the southern tier of the state basically asking the question what the opportunities are to invest in infrastructure that would enhance either existing freight service or passenger rail service.”
We also asked if they have any projects planned for the future.
“We are really at a pivotal point in the evolution of and the life of the rail authority. so what we are focused on is rail planning and a lot of what we’ve been involved in thus far has been working with members of congress to ultimately get language into the bipartisan infrastructure law that directs the U.S. Department of Transportation to conduct a nation wide study of restoring long distance passenger rail service. What we are also doing, this is the pivot of what we are shifting our focus to and that is not simply not focused on what legislation needs to change at the federal level to make a big project like this possible but also to be working with communities as a delivery point of technical assistance. Those are some of the shifts we are seeing with the authority and its pretty exciting time.”