$200 Million in CRISI Grants Headed to Amtrak

Written by David C. Lester, Editor-in-Chief
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Amtrak receives $200 million in CRISI grants.
David C. Lester

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Federal Railroad Administration Announced this week that it is awarding approximately $200 million from the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) program to Amtrak.

Stephen Gardner, Amtrak CEO, said “The CRISI grants announced [this week] will help launch new and expanded service, advance critical safety and reliability improvements, and provide opportunities for the workforce, marking another big milestone as we continue to advance a new era of passenger rail. I want to thank the Biden Administration, USDOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg, and FRA Administrator Amit Bose for their commitment towards improving passenger rail across America. I am grateful for the partnership Amtrak has with our state, host and commuter partners and our labor representatives that helped support these grants.”

Jim Blaze photo
Amtrak train on the Keystone Corridor Jim Blaze photo

This funding will support four projects in the Northeast Corridor (which travels through eight states and the District of Columbia) and the Gulf Coast states.

  • Gulf Coast Corridor Improvement Project (up to $178,435,333)

This project will allow Amtrak, in cooperation with the Southern Rail Commission, to begin twice-daily service next year between Mobile and New Orleans. The grant covers development, final design, and construction activities for various track and signal-related improvements, upgrades to grade crossings, and improvements to stations while maintaining freight service reliability along the Gulf Coast Corridor. A combination of funds from Amtrak, the states of Mississippi, and Louisiana, the Alabama Port Authority, CSX Transportation, and Norfolk Southern Railway will provide a 20 percent non-Federal match.

  • Northeast Corridor (NEC) Fencing Program (up to $8,800,000)

This grant will fund a programmatic study and survey to inform future fence installation at sites vulnerable to and at high risk for unauthorized access along the NEC. The project will help Amtrak plan for future related capital work that will increase safety for the communities that Amtrak operates in and through. Amtrak will provide a 20 percent non-Federal match.

  • Workforce Development Apprenticeship Training Program (up to $8,800,000)

This project will support the development of a comprehensive training and apprenticeship program for new track foremen/inspector employees to ensure proper mentorship and skills transfer, which provides opportunities for career advancement for current employees. Amtrak will provide a 20 percent non-Federal match.

  • Mississippi-Louisiana Grade Crossing Improvement Project (up to $1,826,000)

In partnership with Canadian National Railway and the states of Louisiana and Mississippi, Amtrak will conduct a study and prioritize grade crossings along The City of New Orleans route to be improved, among other related tasks. Amtrak will provide a 20 percent non-Federal match.

In addition, Amtrak supported several critical grants submitted by other entities which received funding, including:

  • Boston & Albany Line Improvement Project (Springfield-Worcester), Massachusetts Department of Transportation
  • Franconia-Springfield Bypass Project (Washington DC-Richmond), Virginia Passenger Rail Authority
  • MARC Penn-Camden Line Connector, Maryland Department of Transportation
  • REDESIGN Alabama, City of Birmingham Department of Transportation
  • Sacramento to Roseville Third Track Project, Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority

These new CRISI grant awards are a major step in delivering on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act’s (IIJA) vision for expanded and improved passenger rail. Amtrak has submitted additional federal grant applications to improve our National Network and advance NEC upgrades through the FRA’s Corridor ID and Fed-State Partnership Programs. Those grant award announcements are anticipated later this year.

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