The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) announced a USD 1.4 billion federal funding for rail infrastructure and safety improvement, provided through a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO). The applications for funding must be submitted until December 1, 2022.
“Rail freight is a critical part of our supply chains, and when shipping costs come down, families pay less for goods. Today, because of President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we’re thrilled to announce the biggest-round of funding ever to make both passenger and freight trains across America safer, faster, and more reliable,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said.
Higher funding levels enabled by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will also accelerate progress in building up infrastructure resilience and strengthening the supply chain, which in turns makes it less expensive to transport goods.
The influx of new grant opportunities will allow Federal Railroad Administration to invest in a wide range of projects that will mitigate passenger and freight rail congestion. It will enhance multi-modal connections and improve and establish new intercity passenger rail corridors. Furthermore, the grants are a major source of funding for short line rail operators, whose operations bolster local economies and are crucial for supply chain fluidity. These nationwide investments will advance the Department’s key goals of infrastructure safety, efficiency, economic vitality, equity, and resiliency.
The funding is part of the Consolidated rail infrastructure and safety improvement (CRISI) program managed by the Federal Railroad Administration to support rail infrastructure modernisation across the U.S. for both rail and freight transport.
This year, President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law more than triples funding for the CRISI Programme, a much-needed step to meet the heavy demand for rail funding from States and local communities. The programme allocates at least 25% of total funds for projects in rural areas.
“With the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s massive boost to the CRISI Program, the funding made available today will help launch our country’s new rail revolution and maintain our rail network’s unmatched standards for safety and efficiency,” FRA Administrator Amit Bose said.
In addition to projects that improve and expand freight and passenger rail infrastructure, CRISI grants will focus on safety projects such as grade crossing enhancements and rail line relocations and improvements as well as other priorities, including workforce development and training, regional rail and corridor planning, environmental analyses, and research and deployment of railroad safety technology. New project eligibilities also include measures to prevent trespassing and to rehabilitate, remanufacture, procure, or overhaul locomotives for emissions reduction projects.