Wednesday, May 22, 2024

US opens $2.4bn rail infrastructure funding programme

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The US Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has opened applications for $2.4bn of funding through its Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) programme, offering rail companies and public bodies funding to invest in infrastructure and safety modernisation projects. 

The latest application period marks the seventh round of CRISI funding and offers the largest amount of funding since the programme’s inception in 2017, an increase of $1bn on last year’s programme

It was announced via a notice of funding opportunity published by the FRA on the federal register, giving organisations and states 60 days to apply for grants. 

FRA Administrator Amit Bose 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. 

“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.” 

Projects that are eligible to receive funding through the programme include those focussing on the deployment of railroad safety technology, rail crossing improvements, multimodal connection enhancements, maglev transportation, and anti-trespassing measures. 

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Funding last year was granted to 70 projects in 35 states and covered major projects such as a $178m grant for Amtrak’s Gulf Coast Corridor Improvement Project, which is looking to bring passenger trains back to the region after they were cut off by the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. 

The CRISI programme is funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which has also funded a wide range of rail projects in the US since it was passed in 2021, including $16bn in grants towards the Northeast Corridor modernisation project.

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