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SMART rail system getting $32 million federal grant to extend to Healdsburg, Cloverdale

The Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit will be receiving a $32 million grant to boost efforts to extend its passenger rail to Healdsburg and Cloverdale, agency officials said this week.

The funding was awarded through the Federal Railroad Administration, Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvement grant, SMART officials said in a statement Monday.

Of the funding, $28 million will be allotted for the train systems for SMART's 5.5-mile passenger and freight rail line between Windsor and Healdsburg.

The rest of the grant is earmarked for SMART's replacement of older, high-emission freight locomotives with lower-emission, environmentally sustainable locomotives, officials said.

"SMART is a vital artery in our communities, connecting people and commerce throughout the North Bay. They have been a leader on innovative infrastructure improvements, like this project that will cut greenhouse gas emissions and provide a reliable public transportation alternative," U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael said in a statement. "This has been a long time in the making with a massive display of support community-wide and I'm glad to have been able to assist by securing this latest grant. This tranche of funding will help SMART extend its reach while keeping pace with a changing climate, better serving our region and the people who depend on its services."

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