Industrial Rail Access Program

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Industrial Rail Access Program (IRAP) is a competitive grant program created by the Massachusetts State Legislature in 2012.

IRAP is a public/private partnership program that provides financial assistance to eligible applicants who are prepared to invest in industry‐based rail infrastructure access improvement projects located on, within or adjacent to the Massachusetts freight rail transportation network.

IRAP was established to address the following overarching economic goals:

(1) Increase access for Commonwealth industry partners to freight rail distribution services;

(2) Stimulate economic development, retain and grow Massachusetts corporations, retain manufacturing jobs, and create new jobs through increased efficiency, production capacity, and improved distribution logistics;

(3) Preserve, rehabilitate, and establish new and expanded industrial rail spurs and industry distribution rail sidings to increase the shipment of goods using freight rail, and

(4) Provide pre‐construction funding for promising projects to acquire portions of railroad rights of way and to support design and permitting services needed to ready projects for implementation

Questions about the IRAP program should be directed to the Manager of State/Federal Rail Programs, MassDOT Rail & Transit Division. (contact details are listed in the sample IRAP application below.)


IRAP project awards in the Pioneer Valley

Essroc Cement Corp | Palmer | $77,364 award | 2016
Improvements to a rail spur and an associated unloading facility

Pioneer Valley Railroad | Westfield | $150,000 award | 2016
Rehabilitation of a rail spur serving the DCP propane terminal

Pioneer Valley Railroad | Westfield | $175,045 award | 2015
Installation of new rail siding at Railroad Distribution Services facility

Pioneer Valley Railroad | Westfield | $310,032 award | 2014
Westfield – Easthampton mainline yard capacity project

New England Central Railroad | Amherst | $500,000 award | 2013
Improvements to mainline tracks

New England Central Railroad | Palmer | $500,000 award | April 2013
Construction of a new rail siding and complete loading dock and laydown area improvements at Sherwood Lumber


2017 Industrial Rail Access Program

2017 IRAP Application (Google Doc)

Completed applications are due by Thursday, February 17, 2017 by 5:00 p.m ET.


Further reading

Industrial Rail Access Program (MassDOT)

Title 700 of the Code of Massachusetts Regulations, section 4.00

Sample IRAP Application



Page last updated: December 26, 2016
Page last reviewed: July 7, 2016