Posts Tagged ‘federal grants’

Grants to Benefit Amtrak Route Infrastructure

August 22, 2022

The Federal Railroad Administration announced last week that it has awarded more than $233 million in grants for infrastructure improvements to Amtrak routes.

The funding came from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair Program.

Most of the projects are located along the Northeast Corridor, but funding also will pay for projects in Michigan and California.

In the Northeast Corridor, a grant will provide $65.2 million for replacement of a bridge over the Connecticut River, and up to $20 million for replacement of two power substations on the state-owned New Haven Line.

The new bridge will provide additional clearance for marine traffic, allow train speeds to increase from 45 mph to 70 mph, and reduce the number of delays for bridge openings.

The new substations on the New Haven Line, used by more than 350 commuter trains and 60 Amtrak trains, will be more reliable and energy efficient, less costly to maintain, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

In New Jersey, up to $45 million was awarded for replacement of the Sawtooth Bridges, two 110-year-old structures in Kearny used by Amtrak and New Jersey Transit. The two existing bridges will be replaced with three new ones, with four tracks providing redundancy for operations during maintenance work or service disruptions.

They will also allow an increase in operating speed above the current 60 mph.

In Maryland up to $20 million was awarded to fund final design for replacement of the 116-year-old, Amtrak-owned Susequehanna River Bridge between Perryville and Havre de Grace.

The new bridge will allow train operation at up to 125 mph, with greater clearance above the river and a movable span that can open and close more efficiently.

In New York, up to $10.7 million was awarded for work necessary in advance of the East River Tunnel Rehabilitation Project, and up to $4.5 million for preliminary stages of the Pelham Bay Bridge Replacment Project.

Before tunnel work can begin, a connection to Sunnyside Yard must be reinstalled and improved, and an electric traction power cable must be relocated.

The Pelham Bay Bridge over the Hutchinson River in the Bronx opened in 1907 and often fails to close properly.

The new bridge will increase clearance for marine traffic and raise operating speeds to 60 to 100 mph.

Also in New York, up to $28.2 million was awarded to replace a 520-foot-long, low-level platform with a high-level platform at Rhinecliff Station on the Empire Corridor.

The project will also include new access to the platform including stairs, elevators, and a pedestrian bridges, as well as track and signal work needed to allow an increase in Empire Service operations.

In California, up to $27.3 million was awarded for improvements in Oceanside on the Surf Line. The project will replace a 100-year-old, single-track bridge over the San Luis Rey River with a two-track structure, as well as improving a grade-crossing, bike path, pedestrian underpass, grading, drainage, and signals.

In Massachusetts, up to $7.6 million was awarded for replacement of the more than century-old South Elm Street Bridge on the MBTA’s Haverhill Line, which is also used by Amtrak.

In Michigan up to $1.6 million was awarded for reconstruction of five deficient bridges on the state-owned rail line between Kalamazoo and Dearborn, used by Amtrak’s Wolverine and Blue Water trains. The work will improve reliability, increase load ratings, and avoid future bridge closures.

Amtrak Gets $10M Homeland Security Grant

August 22, 2022

Amtrak will receive a $10 million grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

A news release from the department said the funding will be used to “protect critical surface transportation and the traveling public from acts of terrorism and to increase the resilience of transit infrastructure.”

The grant was part of $550 million in final allocations for seven federal fiscal year competitive preparedness grant programs.

The department said those grants together with the almost $1.5 billion in non-competitive grand funding announced earlier this year, total more than $2 billion in FY22 to help prepare the nation against manmade threats and natural disasters.

Of the money allotted, $93 million will be provided to owners and operators of public transit systems.

FRA Awards Grant for Chicago US Project

August 21, 2022

A $3 million grant has been awarded by the Federal Railroad Administration for design work for Chicago Union Station renovations.

The grant is being matched by $1.5 million from Chicago commuter train operator Metra, $600,000 from the Chicago Department of Transportation, $400,000 from Amtrak, and $250,000 each from the Illinois Department of Transportation and Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways.

The project will involve rebuilding the station’s concourse areas.

The next phase of the project is design and engineering work. The grants also will fund construction management.

The construction will be part of a series of projects to be funded by a National Infrastructure Project Assistance, or Mega Program, grant of more than $250 million being sought by Amtrak and its partners.

The latter grant application also seeks funding for other projects, including re-configuring the routes Amtrak uses to reach Union Station.

FRA Seeks Comments on Rail Compacts Program

August 21, 2022

The Federal Railroad Administration last week issued a Request of Information on the new Interstate Rail Compacts Grant Program that it will administer.

The program was established by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to provide funding to states for intercity rail passenger service.

In a notice published in the Federal Register, the FRA said its role in the program is to pay for “the technical and administrative functions of IRCs and support coordination and promotion activities for rail services within a region.”

The FRA said interstate rail compacts have traditionally promoted development of intercity passenger rail projects and fostered the efficient development of those projects sponsored by state departments of transportation.

“Furthermore, as investment in intercity passenger rail from state and federal governments over the past decade has created increasingly robust rail networks, a greater need has emerged for increased cooperation across state lines to coordinate intercity passenger rail services and project delivery,” the FRA notice said.

Certain regions have also expressed a desire for strong leadership to represent regional needs. The FRA notice said it is seeking public comment on how the Interstate Rail Compacts Grant Program can best support existing compacts “so they are able to take a more central role in advancing the development of intercity passenger rail service.”

By law only established compacts are eligible for financial assistance under the program, but the FRA said it is considering whether offering other types of assistance outside of the program, such as technical support, to states interested in developing compacts would be beneficial.

Comments are due by Sept. 19.

Grant to Aid Louisiana Station Development

August 12, 2022

A federal grant will help fund development of stations in Baton Rouge and Gonzales, Louisiana, for a proposed new Amtrak route.

The $20 million grant is being awarded from the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity program.

Amtrak and state officials are working to establish new service between New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

The grant will be used for the real-estate acquisition, design and construction of the two stations.

It represents a portion of the $36.95 million that Baton Rouge and Gonzales officials have requested for the stations, which are expected to cost $46.6 million.

The Baton Rouge to New Orleans rail project envisions twice daily trips with stops at stations in Baton Rouge’s downtown and health district, Gonzales, LaPlace, Louis Armstrong International Airport and Union Passenger Terminal in New Orleans.

Grant Released for 2nd Chicago-St. Paul Train

March 13, 2022

State departments of transportation in Wisconsin and Minnesota have received a federal grant of $31.8 million that will be used toward development of a second Amtrak train between Chicago and Twin Cities.

The funding will used to pay for station and rail segment improvements on a Canadian Pacific route also used by the Empire Builder and Hiawatha Service trains.

The new Chicago-St. Paul, Minnesota, train is expected to begin service by 2024 although officials said it could be sooner.

A news release said the funding will ease rail traffic congestion, modernize some sections of track, and speed the movement of freight trains along the 411-mile route.

Studies have projected a second train between Chicago and St. Paul would draw more than 124,000 passengers during its first year of operation.

The grant funding comes from the FRA’s Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements program.

Trains in the Chicago-St. Paul corridor are expected to depart in the morning and midday.

Federal Grant Awarded to Improve Keystone Line

October 29, 2020

Amtrak and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation have received a $15.9 million federal State of Good Repair grant that will be used on the Keystone Line.

The project involves signal upgrades on the Amtrak-owned line that is used by the intercity passenger carrier’s Keystone Service and Pennsylvanian trains.

Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority trains also use the line.

The work will occur between Paoli and Overbrook and allow for bidirectional train movement on all tracks and higher operating speeds.

The line is owned by Amtrak.

Grants Will Improve Passenger Service Routes

October 29, 2020

Federal grants from the Federal Railroad Administration’s Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair Program are expected to improve passenger service in a number of states.

The grants were recently awarded to Amtrak and various state and local government agencies.

The grants include $31.8 million to the Southern California Regional Rail Authority for rehabilitation of track, structures, and grade crossings along the route used by Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner and Los Angeles Metrolink commuter trains in Ventura County and northern Los Angeles County.

A $29.3 million grant went to to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority for track and platform upgrades at Worchester Union Station, along with rehabilitation of two tracks and signals.

Some of the work at the station will bring it into compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act standards as well as enable multiple trains to stop at Worcester simultaneously.

The New York State Department of Transportation received $2 million for grade crossing upgrades and addition of accessible pedestrian walkways and gates in Peekskill on Metro-North’s Hudson Line, which also hosts Amtrak trains.

MDOT Gets Grant to Improve Passenger Line

October 28, 2020

The Michigan Department of Transportation has been awarded a federal $15.6 million State of Good Repair grant to upgrade state-owned tracks used by Amtrak between Ypsilanti and Jackson.

The work will replace 80,000 feet of rail,  upgrade 42 horizontal curves, and make safety enhancements at 16 public and eight private grade crossings.

MDOT Director Paul Ajebga in a statement said the work will make the route and enable Amtrak’s Chicago-Detroit (Pontiac) Wolverine Service trains to operate faster.

A news release issued by MDOT said the grant will assist with completing 136 miles to serve trains operating up to 110 mph.

Grants Awarded in Connecticut, New Jersey for Passenger Rail Improvements

October 28, 2020

Connecticut received $144.9 million in federal grants for bridge replacement in Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor.

The grants are from the State of Good Repair Program.

One grant of $79.7 million to the Connecticut Department of Transportation and Amtrak will be used to replace the Walk Bridge in Norwalk, a movable bridge built in 1896.

It will be replaced with two-track vertical lift bridges. The project also involves improvements to bridge supports and retaining walls, catenary structures, and signal systems.

The other grant, for $65.2 million, will help fund replacement of the 113-year-old Connecticut River Bridge between Old Lyme and Old Saybrook with a new bascule bridge just south of the existing structure.

New Jersey Transit will receive a $27 million grant to renovate the Trenton Transit Center.

The work involves rebuilding the station’s two island platforms, restoring the canopies for those platforms, and bringing the facility into compliance with Americans With Disabilities Act standards.

Construction of a high-level platform with an elevator will enable expansion by Amtrak, NJ Transit, and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority.

The current wood platforms will be replaced with concrete surfaces.

Another grant of $9.8 million went to North County Transit District in California for signal and crossing upgrades.