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The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has issued a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair Grant Program (Partnership Program). The NOFO includes $291.4 million in grant funding and is the third such NOFO for the Partnership Program to help repair and rehabilitate intercity passenger railroad assets.
U.S. Transportation Secretary, Elaine L. Chao, said: “This Administration has continuously emphasised the importance of investing in the safety and efficiency of our Nation’s rail infrastructure and these federal dollars will help make grade crossings safer and enhance service reliability.”
The Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) Partnership Program and remaining Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) funding, which includes $198 million made available by the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020, and $93.4 million that remains unawarded from the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2019, will 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.
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, and yards, terminal areas, and maintenance shops.
FRA Administrator, Ronald L. Batory, said: “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.”
The Partnership Program grants are intended to benefit publicly or Amtrak-owned or -controlled passenger rail infrastructure, equipment, and facilities.
Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis. FRA will consider how the projects support key Departmental objectives, including enhancing economic vitality; leveraging Federal funding; using innovative approaches to improve safety and expedite project delivery; and holding grant recipients accountable for achieving specific, measurable outcomes. In addition, selection preference will be given to applications with a proposed non-Federal share that is comprised of more than one source of funding and applications that indicate strong project readiness. The Federal share of a project’s total cost must not exceed 80 per cent.
The FY20 Partnership Program NOFO is published in the Federal Register, and applications for funding are due on 27 July 2020.
This article first appeared on www.globalrailwayreview.com
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