Posts Tagged ‘FRA grants’

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.

FRA Has Passenger Grants Available

June 10, 2020

The Federal Railroad Administration this week released a $291.4 million notice of funding opportunity for the Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair Grant Program.

It is the third such NOFO for the Partnership Program to help repair and rehabilitate intercity passenger railroad assets.

The Fiscal Year 2020 Partnership Program and remaining Fiscal Year 2019 funding, which includes $198 million made available by the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act 2020, and $93.4 million that remains from the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2019, can be used 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.

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.

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 with the FRA considering how the projects support key agency 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 percent.

Applications are due by 5 p.m. EDT on July 27.

FRA Awards Grants for Passenger Rail Projects

May 7, 2020

The Federal Railroad Administration announced this week that it has awarded more than $22 million in grant funding to three passenger-rail projects affecting eight states.

The money from the Restoration and Enhancement Grant Program is aimed at projects to “initiate, restore or enhance intercity passenger-rail service around the country,” FRA officials said in a news release release.

The grants will help fund a possible expansion of Amtrak service between Chicago and Minneapolis-St. Paul, a possible restoration of Amtrak service along the Gulf Coast and improving CTrail Service in Connecticut.

The Southern Rail Commission received $5.45 million to be used to implement Amtrak service between New Orleans and Mobile, Alabama.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation received $12,569,200 toward the Twin Cities-Milwaukee-Chicago Intercity Passenger-Rail Service Project.

The project calls for adding a second daily roundtrip train between Chicago and St. Paul, Minnesota, to supplement Amtrak’s Chicago-Seattle/Portland Empire Builder.

The additional train would provide more convenient travel times and serve 12 stations in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois.

The Connecticut Department of Transportation received $4,395,616 for the CTrail-Hartford Line Rail Enhancement Project.

That project envisions two additional weekday trains between New Haven, Connecticut, and Springfield, Massachusetts.

The additional service will allow for more connections with MTA Metro-North Railroad and Amtrak trains.

FRA Extends Deadline for Passenger Rail Grants

December 24, 2019

The deadline for a passenger rail grant program overseen by the Federal Railroad Administration has been extended to Feb. 5, 2020.

FRA had $24 million in Restoration and Enhancement Grants for “initiating, restoring, or enhancing intercity passenger rail service.”

The money was authorized by the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act.

The deadline had been Jan. 5, 2020, but was extended by a month after another $1.92 million was authorized by Congress for fiscal year 2020.

That brings the total amount of available grant money for the program to $26.3 million.

Funding in the program can be used for staffing, fuel, electricity, station expenses, rolling stock lease payments, routine planned maintenance, host railroad access costs, train yard operation and administrative costs.

Grants may be awarded to states (individually or collectively), cities and other government entities, Amtrak and other intercity passenger rail companies.

By law the FRA must give priority by application type, including those supporting projects that “foster economic development, expand transportation options in under served communities, and restore former Amtrak routes.”

FRA Has Grants for Passenger Service

November 7, 2019

Grants to launch, restore or enhance intercity rail passenger service are available from the Federal Railroad Administration as part of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act.

The agency said it is taking applications for $24 million in grant funding that can be applied to operating assistance including staffing, administrative costs, host-railroad access costs, station expenses, and lease payments on rolling stock, among other uses.

Amtrak and other intercity passengers are eligible to apply, as are states, groups of states, cities, and other governmental agencies.

“We’re encouraging applicants to leverage federal Restoration and Enhancement grants to support large-scale, intercity passenger rail improvements,” FRA Administrator Ronald L. Batory said in a statement.

The official Notice of Funding Opportunity describes a list of projects that will receive funding priority in funding including “applications that …restore service over routes formerly operated by Amtrak, including routes in the Gulf Coast region between New Orleans, Louisiana, and Orlando, Florida.”

FRA Has Mag-Lev Grant Funds Available

October 30, 2019

The Federal Railroad Administration has published a notice of grant funding opportunity for magnetic levitation deployment projects.

The notice, which was published in the Federal Register, provided information about how to seek $24 million in grant funding for eligible projects under the federal Magnetic Levitation Technology Deployment Program.

That includes $10 million appropriated by Congress in 2019 and an additional $14 million in funds authorized by Congress in 2008 under sections of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act, known by the acronym SAFETEA-LU.

Applicants for the $14 million in funding must be focused on projects in Pittsburgh, and  Baltimore-Washington and Atlanta-Chattanooga corridors.
The $10 million in grants funds are not limited to those three maglev projects.

New Equipment Will Replace Talgos on Cascade Route

August 27, 2019

The Washington State Department of Transportation will receive a federal grant to replace three state-owned Talgo 6 trainsets used in Amtrak Cascades service.

WSDOT received a $37.5 million Federal Railroad Administration grant to be used to meet half of the equipment replacement costs.

One of the three trainsets to be replaced was damaged in a December 2017 derailment that left three passengers dead.

The new equipment will be acquired through Amtrak’s 2019-2020 national equipment replacement contract.

“By participating in this national procurement process with other states that sponsor passenger service, [the state transportation department] will be able to leverage the buying power of both Amtrak and other states,” WSDOT said in a statement.

One bidder will be selected to provide various configurations depending on what each state desires.

In a statement, the FRA said the new passenger cars “will provide flexible train car capacity, reduce infrastructure lifecycle costs for the Amtrak Cascades fleet, and improve onboard amenities.”

Aside from the FRA grant, funding for the new equipment will come from state funding as well as insurance proceeds from the trainset lost in the derailment.

The new equipment is expected to arrive in the mid-2020s. In the interim, Amtrak is seeking temporary equipment to replace Talgo 6 trainsets currently in service.

New Cars Coming to Piedmont Trains

August 27, 2019

The oldest cars currently assigned to Amtrak’s Piedmont service will be replaced using a $77 million grant.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation received a grant from the Federal Railroad Administration to upgrade its Piedmont rail car fleet.

NCDOT officials said they’ll use the grant to support a fleet of new coaches assigned to the service that operates between Raleigh and Charlotte.

The project also includes improvements to NCDOT’s locomotive and rail-car maintenance facility in Charlotte that supports the Piedmont fleet.

Planning and engineering for the facility will begin once a contract agreement has been signed with the FRA.

FRA Grants to Benefit Passenger Rail

August 27, 2019

The Federal Railroad Administration has announced the awarding of more than $272 million in grant funding to 10 rail projects through its State of Good Repair Program.

Several of those projects will benefit passenger rail.

The Michigan Department of Transportation was awarded up to $23.3 million for a rehabilitation work on the state-owned line between Kalamazoo and Dearborn that is used by Amtrak’s Wolverine Service and Blue Water trains.

The project entails rebuilding rail, crossties and track surfaces, and replacing two railroad bridges in Jackson.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation received $15.1 million to rehabilitate and upgrade an interlocking plant in Philadelphia at the junction of the Amtrak-owned Keystone Corridor and Northeast Corridor main lines.

Work will include slope stabilization and reconstruction of retaining walls, rehabilitation of an existing but underutilized track, and switch and signal reconfiguration.

Chicago commuter agency Metra will receive $17.8 million to construct a new grade-separated, double-tracked rail bridge over Milwaukee Avenue north of the Grayland Metra Station on Metra’s Milwaukee District-North Line in Chicago.

The city-owned New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal will receive $3.7 million to complete final design for upgrading station platforms and train service capabilities.

The platform modifications will bring the platforms into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, increase platform height to provide level boarding for Amtrak’s Sunset Limited and City of New Orleans, and improve the step height for boarding the Crescent.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation was awarded $41.2 million to replace and upgrade Tower I interlocking, a major rail network junction at the entrance to the Boston South Station terminal area.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation received $76.9 million for the Piedmont intercity fleet and infrastructure investments project.

The project involves the acquisition of 13 new passenger coaches for use in the Piedmont service and an expansion of the Charlotte Locomotive and Rail-car Maintenance Facility.

New Jersey Transit received $18.4 million for platform D improvements at Newark Penn Station. The project includes repairing and/or replacing Platform D slabs and joints, reconstructing platform edges, installing new tactile strips and timber rub rails, repairing the overhead canopy and upgrading lighting.
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation was awarded $12.5 million for a major rehabilitation of the Amtrak station in Providence.

The Washington State Department of Transportation was awarded $37.5 million to procure three new consists for use in the Amtrak Cascades service.

The project will replace the three Washington state-owned Talgo VI trainsets: two used in current service and one damaged in the December 2017 derailment.

The loss of the damaged trainset reduced the Amtrak Cascades schedule from six to four daily round trips.

The project will enable WSDOT to meet existing and anticipated passenger demand, and allow Washington to retire its Talgo VI trainsets.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation was awarded $25.7 million to replace deteriorated, outdated passenger cab-baggage and coach cars used in the Chicago–Milwaukee Amtrak Hiawatha service with three single-level cab-coach cars and six single-level coach cars.

Projects to Benefit Amtrak Routes

February 9, 2019

Amtrak stands to benefit from some of the railroad improvement  projects that recently won federal grant funding.

The Federal Railroad Administration said this week that it will award more than $56 million in grants, covering 18 projects in 16 states as part of the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements program.

In Florida, the installation of supplemental safety features at 48 grade crossings will benefit the Virgin Trains USA route between West Palm Beach and Miami.

Officials said the work is expected to cut the number of grade-crossing violations by keeping motorists and pedestrians from trespassing as trains approach.

Amtrak’s Lincoln Service trains and the Texas Eagle will see a trip time reduction of three minutes due to a reconfiguration of the Lenox Interlocking in Mitchell, Illinois, located 16 miles northeast of St. Louis.

The project is expected to provide operating flexibility at a junction of four rail lines used by six railroads operating 46 trains per day.

In St. Louis, funding was awarded to replace the Broadway Truss of the Terminal Railway Association of St. Louis’ MacArthur Bridge across the Mississippi River.

The bridge is more than 100 years old and serves as the nation’s second longest railroad bridge. The work will work will increase horizontal clearance of the bridge, which is used by Lincoln Service trains and the Texas Eagle.

In New York, replacement of timber bridge decks with ballast decks on three bridges on the Hudson Line in Dutchess and Columbia counties will eliminate current speed restrictions and allow for future 110-mph operation.

Twenty-six Amtrak trains per day use these bridges, including the Lake Shore Limited, Maple Leaf, Ethan Allen Express, Adirondack and Empire Service trains.

Work will be performed in Vermont to stablize slopes along an 80-mile section of the New England Central Railroad used by Amtrak’s Vermonter.

The project will lead to the elimination of slow orders that have resulted in 216 hours of annual passenger delays and 520 hours of freight delays as well as decreasing safety risks.

A second second platform, elevator towers, and an overhead pedestrian bridge will be built at the Milwaukee Airport Amtrak station, allowing passenger trains to use both tracks and ease congestion resulting from the current single-track configuration for passenger service.

The station is used by Hiawatha Service trains.