September 24, 2020
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The Federal Railroad Administration issued a Notice of Funding Opportunity on October 8 that offers $396 million worth of grant money through its Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair program to fund a variety of capital rail projects.

[Above photo by the U.S. Air Force.]

These grants are intended to benefit publicly- or Amtrak-owned or controlled passenger rail infrastructure, equipment, and facilities in rural and urban American communities, the agency said.

FRA added in a statement that this new round of grants aims to specifically 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 agency noted.

Ronald Batory

The FRA also pointed out that while the federal share of a project’s total costs must not exceed 80 percent in applications for these grants, 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,” noted FRA Administrator Ronald Batory, who added that the application deadline for this round of grants is December 9.

“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,” he said.

editor@aashto.org

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