August 8, 2020
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The Federal Railroad Administration is disbursing more than $272 million in grant funding to 10 rail projects in 10 states through its Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair or SOGR program to help to repair and rehabilitate railroad infrastructure around the country.

[Above photo from the Rhode Island Department of Transportation.]

“This funding will make a significant contribution to freight and passenger rail-related capital projects in our communities, help our nation’s rail infrastructure to be brought into a state of good repair and ultimately make a big difference in people’s lives,” said FRA Administrator Ronald Batory in a statement.

The SOGR Program provides funding to repair, replace, or rehabilitate publicly or Amtrak-owned or controlled railroad equipment, infrastructure and facilities. The FRA said it is intended to improve intercity passenger rail performance and that eligible projects include upgrading infrastructure such as track, switches, bridges, and highway-rail grade crossings; stations; and equipment, including passenger cars.

In the Fiscal Years 2017 and 2018 SOGR Program Notice of Funding Opportunity, FRA mandated a minimum 20 percent non-federal match requirement and noted that the selected projects “went above and beyond” this requirement.

In this round of funding, FRA and the grant recipients are leveraging more than $190 million in non-Federal funds with these selections, the agency noted.

Six state departments of transportation are receiving grants from this round of FRA SOGR grants:

  • The Massachusetts DOT is getting more than $41 million to replace and upgrade 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 Michigan DOT is getting more than $23 million to rehabilitate rail, crossties, and track surfaces between Kalamazoo and Dearborn, while replacing two railroad bridges in Jackson.
  • The North Carolina DOT is getting nearly $77 million for 13 new passenger coaches for use in the Piedmont service and an expansion of the Charlotte locomotive and railcar maintenance facility.
  • The Pennsylvania DOT is getting more than $15 million to rehabilitate and upgrade ZOO interlocking in Philadelphia at the junction of the Amtrak-owned Keystone Corridor and Northeast Corridor main lines; a project that includes slope stabilization and reconstruction of retaining walls, rehabilitation of an existing but underutilized track, along with switch and signal reconfiguration.
  • The Rhode Island DOT will get up to $12.5 million to complete a major rehabilitation of the Amtrak-owned 33-year-old Providence Station in Providence to “adequately prepare” that facility for continued future use.
  • The Washington State DOT will get up to $37.5 million to replace intercity passenger rail cars for three separate train lines.
  • The Wisconsin DOT will get more than $25.7 million to 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.
editor@aashto.org

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