Port Manatee to use federal grant to buy 2 train locomotives

PORT MANATEE -- About $2.5 million in grant money from a federal agency will be coming to Port Manatee, officials announced today.

The money, which is coming via a Tiger II grant from the U.S. Maritime Administration, will be used to purchase two new locomotives for the port, said port Executive Director Carlos Buqueras.

The two engines, which are expected to cost about $3 million altogether, will help the port better serve its existing customers and attract new ones, since they will help provide reliable, direct rail access to other parts of the country, he said.

The new locomotives will help to establish Port Manatee among the top two or three in Florida with superior rail service, he said.

The port currently owns one used locomotive, which officials intend to sell in order to help purchase the new ones, Buqueras said.