September 25, 2020
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The Federal Railroad Administration recently issued two notices of funding opportunity; the first for the third round of $291.4 million in grants via its Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair program and the other offering $293,000 for Railroad Trespassing Suicide Prevention Program projects.

[Above photo via the FRA.]

The FRA’s $291.4 million good repair NOFO includes $198 million made available by the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020 and $93.4 million that remains un-awarded from the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2019 to support capital projects that repair, replace, or rehabilitate qualified railroad assets to reduce the state of good repair backlog and improve intercity passenger rail performance.

Photo by the Virginia DOT

Eligible applications may involve railroad infrastructure, equipment, or facility assets such as track, ballast, switches and interlockings, bridges, communication and signal systems, power systems, highway-rail grade crossings, stations, passenger cars, locomotives, maintenance-of-way equipment, plus yards, terminal areas, and maintenance shops.

“All eligible parties should take full advantage of this opportunity to leverage private, state, and local investments that boost capital projects, including those that enhance safety in track and equipment and improve safety at highway-rail grade crossings or otherwise grade-separate rail intersections,” noted Ronald Batory, FRA’s administrator, in a statement.

FRA’s Ronald Batory

Meanwhile the trespassing suicide prevention program NOFO seeks grant applications from eligible organizations that focus on suicide prevention or mental health assistance, to implement activities to reduce railroad-related suicides – including nonprofits and railroads. Selected grant recipients will be awarded a maximum of $100,000 each.

“Every year, hundreds of people attempt to commit suicide using the U.S. rail system, and data analysis suggests that 50 percent or more of fatal trespass incidents are suicides,” FRA’s Batory noted in a separate statement. “We believe that allied organizations working together can reduce such incidents. These grants will strengthen existing partnerships and create new ones to help deter and prevent needless tragedies.”

editor@aashto.org

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