(1) The department of transportation shall continue its responsibility for the development and implementation of the state rail plan and programs, and the utilities and transportation commission shall continue its responsibility for railroad safety issues.
(2) The department of transportation shall maintain an enhanced data file on the rail system. Proprietary annual station traffic data from each railroad and the modal use of major shippers must be obtained to the extent that such information is available.
(3) The department of transportation shall provide technical assistance, upon request, to state agencies and local interests. Technical assistance includes, but is not limited to, the following:
(a) Rail project cost-benefit analyses conducted in accordance with methodologies recommended by the federal railroad administration;
(b) Assistance in the formation of county rail districts and port districts; and
(c) Feasibility studies for rail service continuation or rail service assistance, or both.
(4) With funding authorized by the legislature, the department of transportation, in collaboration with the department of commerce, and local economic development agencies, and other interested public and private organizations, shall develop a cooperative process to conduct community and business information programs and to regularly disseminate information on rail matters.