Jaguar Transport Holdings Train

Franklin County officials are looking to help a railroad improve freight service to Union, while also upgrading a controversial bridge.

The Missouri Eastern Railroad and its parent company, Joplin-based Jaguar Transport Holdings, are planning to apply for a $9.5 million grant through the Federal Railroad Administration’s Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements program, said Jeff Van Schaick, Missouri Eastern Railroad senior vice president. The money is part of around $13 million the railroad plans to invest in its 40-mile route connecting Union to Maryland Heights, where the short line can switch freight to major railroads.