FRA announces $2.4B in freight, intercity passenger rail grant funding

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On Friday, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced it was making available more than $2.4 billion in grants to modernize the country’s freight and intercity passenger rail infrastructure.

The funding, part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will come from the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) program. The funding is for Fiscal Years 2023 and 20234, and builds on the more than $1.4 billion in CRISI grants awarded last year.

“Today we’re opening the biggest funding round in history for the program that modernizes freight and intercity passenger rail infrastructure,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said. “This funding will make it safer, more affordable, more sustainable, and more efficient for people and goods to move by rail across the country.”

Previously, FRA selected 70 projects in 35 states and Washington, D.C. for CRISI Program funding in 2023. Those projects ranged from bridge, track and grade crossing improvements to investments in restoring and expanding intercity passenger rail corridors. The grants are a major source of funding for short line railroads and rural communities. Funding projects like trespass prevention efforts or procurement of zero- to low-emission locomotives, among other initiatives, improves short line railroad operations and improves rural communities quality of life, officials said.

“Every year, FRA sees extraordinarily high demand for CRISI grant funds, which help railroads, states, and local communities meet vital needs for safety and economic development and growth,” FRA Administrator Amit Bose said. “In addition, by funding freight and passenger rail transportation, CRISI-funded projects improve the fluidity of the national rail network and make it easier and safer for goods and people to move by rail across the country.” 

Applications are due within 60 days of the date the Notice of Funding Opportunity is published in the Federal Register.