U.S. senators from Maine and Rhode Island say the federal government is providing nearly $2 million to improve safety practices on short-line railroads.

Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Jack Reed of Rhode Island say the Federal Railroad Administration is providing the Short Line Safety Institute with $1.9 million. The senators say the institute seeks to help short-line railroads assess and improve safety operations.

The senators say the country has 550 short-line railroad companies that operate more than 50,000 miles of track. They constitute almost two-fifths of the nation’s railroad network.

The Short Line Safety Institute was established last year as a partnership between Congress, the federal government and the short-line rail industry.

Collins is a Republican and Reed is a Democrat.

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