The U.S. Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced more than USD 272 million in grant funding to 10 rail projects in 10 states. The funding is will help to repair and rehabilitate railway infrastructure around the country.
“This Administration is committed to investing in the enhancement and safe operation of our country’s passenger rail networks,” said the Transport Secretary, Elaine Chao, said.
The grant is provided through FRA’s SOGR Programme, which provides funding to repair, replace, or rehabilitate publicly or Amtrak owned or controlled rail equipment, infrastructure and facilities. The SOGR Program is intended to improve intercity passenger rail performance. Eligible projects include upgrading infrastructure such as track, switches, bridges, and highway-rail grade crossings, stations and equipment, including passenger cars.
USD 76.9 million is the highest amount which has been provided to North Carolina State, for Piedmont intercity fleet and infrastructure investments. 13 new passenger coaches will be purchased for Piedmont service which will be deployed on the Charlotte – Raleigh route. The grant will also support the expansion of the Charlotte locomotive and railcar maintenance facility to include additional storage tracks and interior spaces for inspection, maintenance, and repair and storage of spare parts and supplies.
Massachusetts Department of Transportation ranks the second, which received a USD 41.2 million grant for South Station expansion Tower 1 early action project. It will include the replacement of signals, switches, track, power systems, and related infrastructure at Tower 1 interlocking, a major rail network junction at the entrance to the Boston South Station terminal area. The current interlocking is a major source of delay at a location used by almost 60,000 daily rail passengers.
For Washington State, USD 37.5 million are provided for passenger rail car replacement project which envisages the acquisition of three trains for the Amtrak Cascades services.
USD 25.7 million will support the next generation single-level coach and cab-coach equipment acquisition project in Wisconsin. The proposed project will replace deteriorated, outdated passenger cab-baggage and coach cars used in the Chicago–Milwaukee Amtrak Hiawatha service with three single-level cab-coach cars and six single-level coach cars.
Michigan Department of Transportation received USD 23.3 million grant for the rehabilitation of 24-km on the Chicago – Detroit/Pontiac corridor, including the replacement of two rail bridges. The project will also maintain a state of good repair and preserve passenger train speeds up to 110 mph (180 km/h) and improve rail safety for Amtrak’s Wolverine service, which carries nearly 500,000 annual passengers
New Jersey received USD 18.44 million for Newark Penn Station platform D improvements, Illinois was granted with a USD 17.84 million funding for Metra’s Milwaukee rail bridge replacement project, USD 15 million will be provided to Pennsylvania for Keystone Corridor Zoo interlocking upgrades, USD 12.5 million was provided to Rhode Island for major rehabilitation of Providence Station and USD 3.7 million is the financial support to Louisiana State, for New Orleans Union passenger terminal improvements.