JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Department of Transportation received a $3.3 million federal grant to help improve passenger rail service.
The department will use the federal funds plus $5 million set aside by the state legislature for two "sidings" that are designed to cut down on delays for Amtrak passenger trains. The sidings allow two trains headed in opposite directions to pass each other.
The $8.3 million project calls for building a new siding just west of California, Mo., and extending an existing siding near Knob Knoster. Both projects would be set on land that is already part of the railroad's right of way.
Rod Massman, the state transportation department's administer of railroads, said that construction is expected to begin in March. He estimated it would take several months to complete.