Grant funding announced to support intercity rail improvements in America
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) have announced the availability of $24 million in grant funding to initiate, restore, or enhance intercity passenger rail service for the country.
Made available through the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, the Fiscal Year 2018 and 2019 Restoration and Enhancement Grants Program provides operating assistance to initiate, restore, or enhance intercity passenger rail transportation. This includes staffing, fuel, electricity, station expenses, lease payments on rolling stock, routine planned maintenance, host railroad access costs, train yard operation, and administrative costs.
Groups of states, individual states, cities, and other government subdivisions are eligible to apply. Amtrak and other intercity passenger rail companies also may apply.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao, said: “These grants help ensure communities continue to have access to the intercity passenger rail network that connects our country.”
FRA Administrator Ronald L. Batory, said: “We’re encouraging applicants to leverage federal Restoration and Enhancement grants to support large-scale, intercity passenger rail improvements.”
The statute requires FRA to prioritise several application types, including those supporting projects that foster economic development, expand transportation options in under-served communities, and restore former Amtrak routes.