Posts Tagged ‘FRA’

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.”

Senate Confirms Batory as FRA Chief

February 14, 2018

The U.S. Senate voted Tuesday night to confirm Ronald Batory as the permanent administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration.

Ronald Batory

Batory was approved on a voice vote after Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer removed a hold on a Batory confirmation vote.

The action came in the wake of concerns about railroad safety following three Amtrak accidents that resulted in six fatalities.

Batory retired in March 2017 as president and chief operating officer of Conrail.

During his 46-year railroad industry career, he served as president of the Belt Railway of Chicago and held senior positions at Class I and regional railroads, including general manager in Chicago for Southern Pacific.

Schumer had placed the hold on Batory’s confirmation vote as part of a ploy to seek to force the Department of Transportation to release federal funds for the Gateway rail tunnels project under the Hudson River.

Another factor in lifting the hold was the recent resignation of acting FRA Administrator Heath Hall for moonlighting on a second job.

The Senate also confirmed by voice vote Raymond Martinez as administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and Adam Sullivan as the Department of Transportation’s assistant secretary of government affairs.

FRA Extends Deadline for Quad Cities Grant

September 23, 2016

The Federal Railroad Administration has agreed to extend the deadline for the state of Illinois to use grant money toward establishment of intercity rail passenger service between Chicago and the Quad Cities region of Illinois and Iowa.

IDOTThe $177 million grant was awarded to the Illinois Department of Transportation.

IDOT will now have until Sept. 30, 2017. The deadline had been June 30.

State officials said much work remains to be done to introduce service to the route, which last had rail service in the late 1978 that was provided by the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad between Chicago and Rock Island, Illinois.

That service was funded in part by the state but suffered from low patronage and poor tracks.

The grant to establish Chicago-Quad Cities was awarded in 2010.