DETROIT (CBS DETROIT/AP) — A big investment is being made to help improve the condition of railroad tracks across the state.

Michigan is receiving an $8.6 million federal grant to improve the railroads.

The funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation will go to Lake State Railway’s Mackinaw Subdivision. The company operates about 375 miles of track.

They run from its Saginaw headquarters north to Gaylord and Alpena and south to Plymouth, with shorter lines reaching Midland and Bay City.

U.S. Reps. Dan Kildee, Jack Bergman and John Moolenaar announced the grant Tuesday. They said it would boost the economic competitiveness of the areas served by the rails by giving auto suppliers, farmers and other businesses a reliable means of getting their products to market.

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