U.S. Secretary of Transportation Makes Available $396 Million for Rail Capital Projects

Written by David C. Lester, Managing Editor
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David C. Lester

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) yesterday issued a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair Program (Partnership Program). The NOFO includes $396 million in grant funding.

“This $396 million in federal funding will provide a tremendous boost to private, state and local investments to improve America’s rail infrastructure,” said U. S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

The Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) Partnership Program will fund projects that repair, replace, or rehabilitate qualified railroad assets to reduce the state of good repair backlog and improve intercity passenger rail performance. Eligible applications will address projects that may include track, ballast, switches and interlockings, bridges, communication and signal systems, power systems, grade crossings, station buildings, support systems, signage, track and platform areas, passenger cars, locomotives, maintenance-of-way equipment, yards, terminal areas, and maintenance shops.

The Partnership Program grants are intended to benefit publicly- or Amtrak-owned or -controlled passenger rail infrastructure, equipment, and facilities in rural and urban American communities.

The Department will consider how projects support key objectives, including enhancing economic vitality; leveraging federal funding; using innovative approaches to improve safety and expedite project delivery; and holding grant recipients accountable for achieving specific, measurable outcomes. The federal share of a project’s total costs must not exceed 80 percent, although preference will be given to those projects where the proposed federal share is 50 percent or less.

“I strongly encourage all eligible parties to take full advantage of this opportunity,” said FRA Administrator Ronald L. Batory. “These grants offer a win-win situation for the nation’s rail network as well as communities around the country, both urban and rural, to improve safety.”

The FY19 Partnership Program NOFO will be published in the Federal Register on October 8, 2019, and applications for funding are due December 9, 2019. Following publication, FRA will offer web-based training and technical assistance for eligible applicants. For more details about the Partnership Program, visit https://www.fra.dot.gov/Page/P1175.

A U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Railroad Administration news release.  railroads.dot.gov.

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