Posts Tagged ‘Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements program’

FRA to Take Applications for CRISI Grants

August 27, 2021

The Federal Railroad Administration will be taking application soon for the fiscal year 2021 Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety grant program.

The agency plans to publish on Aug. 31 a notice of funding opportunity. This year’s grant program has $362 million to award to eligible projects.

To be eligible applicants must demonstrate that their projects reduce congestion; address highway-rail grade crossings; upgrade short line and regional railroad infrastructure; relocate rail lines; improve intercity passenger rail capital assets; target trespassing; enhance multi-modal connections; and facilitate service integration between rail and other modes, such as at ports or intermodal facilities.

FRA officials said applications will be evaluated on how they foster safety and equitable economic strength; improve core assets and ensure racial equity and economic inclusion; address climate change and resilience; and modernize the nation’s transportation infrastructure.

A quarter of the grant money is set aside for rural projects, another $75 million is for projects that support the development of new intercity passenger rail service routes, including alignments for existing routes; and $25 million is earmarked for capital projects and engineering solutions targeting rail trespassing.

ORDC Awards Grants to 4 Railroads

November 20, 2020

The Ohio Rail Development Commission announced this week four grants to an equal number of railroads that will provide the state’s share of matching funds for federal Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements program grants.

The grants and projects include: 

Chicago, Fort Wayne and Eastern Railroad: $462,000 to match $4,358,547 of CFER funding and a $4,530,546 CRISI grant to assist with upgrades in the Lima Yard and on 11 miles of track from Lima to north-central Indiana.

Napoleon, Defiance and Western Railroad: $250,000 to match $3,862,452 of NDW funding and a $4,112,452 CRISI grant to assist with significant track upgrades and eliminating speed, train length and height restrictions along the line between Defiance and Woodburn, Indiana.

R. J. Corman Western Ohio & Cleveland Lines: $489,300 to match $709,485 of RJC funding and a $2,226,315 CRISI grant to assist with the installation of more than 20,000 ties of track in and around Massillon, Wooster, Celina and Lima.

Youngstown & Southeastern Railroad: $350,025 to match $350,025 of YSRR funding and a $700,050 CRISI grant to assist with the installation of more than 10,000 ties and perform surfacing along the line between Struthers and Signal in Mahoning and Columbiana counties. Also, five grade crossing surfaces will be repaired.

CRISI Grants to Fund Railroad Safety Projects

September 24, 2020

Federal grants will be used for grade crossing safety projects in Michigan and Indiana.

That includes a $15.6 million grant to the Michigan Department of Transportation to improve pedestrian crossings between Dearborn and Kalamazoo on Amtrak’s Michigan Line.

MDOT officials have noted that eventually passenger trains on that segment will operate at 110 miles per hour and currently Amtrak trains operate at more than 90 mph in some places.

The project will involve installation of fencing and other safety enhancements at select crossings where there is a high level of foot traffic.

Among the sites where safety measures will be implemented are Dearborn, Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor, Albion College, Augusta, Galesburg, and downtown Kalamazoo.

Matching the federal grant will be $14.6 million in state funds and $1 million from Amtrak for a total project cost of $31.2 million. Approximately 62 percent of the total project budget will fund improvements in rural areas.

The corridor is owned by MDOT and used by Amtrak and Norfolk Southern.

Officials said 12 pedestrians have been struck by trains in the past four years and there have been numerous near-miss incidents.

In Nappanee, Indiana, a $1.4 million grant will be used to improve grade crossings on a CSX mainline.

The work will include installation of warning-time circuitry, roadway improvements, improvements at crossings that currently have low ground clearance, and safety and suicide outreach programs.

These improvements will meet the requirements to establish a Quiet Zone.

Another $7.9 million CRISI grant was announced this week to be used in Pennsylvania to develop an onboard GPS sensor system to provide real-time railcar movement information to shippers, car owners, and railroads.

A $900,000 grant was awarded for improvements to the Delaware-Lackawanna Railroad’s Green Ridge Yard and its junction with Norfolk Southern.

Short Lines Get Grants for Ohio Projects

September 22, 2020

Five short line railroads will receive federal grants to help pay for infrastructure projects in Ohio.

One of the largest awards, $4.1 million, will be used by the Napoleon, Defiance & Western Railway for rail replacement and track rehabilitation.

The federal Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements grant will cover 50 percent of the project’s cost, with nearly $3.9 million matched by the railroad and 3 percent ($250,000) being provided by the Ohio Rail Development Commission.

The railroad plans to replace 10 miles of steel rail and 29,000 ties on 28 miles of rail line.

Other CRISI grants that were awarded this week by the U.S. Department of Transportation include $4.5 million to the Chicago, Fort Wayne & Eastern to replace 10.8 miles of jointed rail with welded rail, install new ballast and ties, replace seven turnouts and rehabilitate another, and rebuild yard tracks between Lima and Fort Wayne, Indiana.

R.J. Corman received $2.2 million for improvements on four routes while the Youngstown & Southeastern received $700,000 to rebuild 25 miles of track, including tie replacement, track resurfacing, switch renewal and grade-crossing improvement.

Central Railroad of Indiana received $1.2 million for an enclosed conveyor belt system to move materials at its Cincinnati Bulk Terminals and another $1.1 million for grade crossing improvements including a new traffic signal and crossing gates at CSX and Central Railroad of Indiana crossings in Cincinnati.

Bill Would Boost Transportation Funding

June 4, 2020

Amtrak funding would triple under a five-year transportation plan released by some members of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

The plan, known as the “INVEST in America Act,” would authorize almost $500 billion for infrastructure, including $60 billion for rail projects.

Of the $494 billion in funding authorized by the legislation, $319 billion or 65 percent would go toward highway-related projects.

The bill contains $105 billion for transit, $29 billion for Amtrak, and a new $19 billion grant program devoted entirely to passenger rail projects.

Funding for the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements grant program would be $7 billion for passenger and freight projects, and a new $2.5 billion grant program for grade-crossing improvements.

The bill is being pushed by Democratic members of the committee and drew immediate criticism from three Republican members.

The GOP members, who were not involved in drafting the bill, said as proposed the bill would not provide enough flexibility for states and would favor urban areas over rural regions.

Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon), chairman of the House Committee on Transportation defended the bill by describing it as transformational legislation that would move the nation into a new era of planning, building and improving U.S. infrastructure.

The proposed legislation would prohibit Amtrak from imposing mandatory arbitration in ticket policies, mandate an improved methodology and increase transparency in the process Amtrak uses to determine how much states pay for corridor services.

Amtrak would also be directed to offer reduced fares for certain groups, including veterans and current members of the military and their families, and be required to provide access to hot meals for all passengers traveling overnight and not just those in sleeper class.

The outsourcing of onboard food and beverage service would be banned and Amtrak would have to create a working group to issue a report within a year on how to improve food and beverage service.

As for other railroads, the bill would require use of two-person crews on freight trains with some exemptions for short lines.

The U.S. Department of Transportation would be directed to develop a national strategy to deal with the delays at grade crossings, saying crossings should not be blocked for more than 10 minutes at a time.

The DOT special permits allowing transport of liquefied natural gas by tank car would be rescinded and DOT would be prohibited from issuing any further permits until the agency has further studied the safety of the matter.

The Government Accountability would be directed to conduct a study on the effect of precision scheduled railroading on shippers as well as s study on the safety issues of trains longer than 7,500 feet.

CRISI Grant Applications Being Sought

April 17, 2020

The U.S. Department of Transportation is accepting application for this year’s Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements Program.

The Federal Railroad Administration will administer up to $311.8 million in freight and passenger rail projects that improve transportation safety, efficiency, and reliability as authorized under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act.

The FRA said in a notice to be published in the Federal Register that eligible applications for competitive selection include projects that address congestion challenges, highway-rail grade crossings, upgrade short line or regional railroad infrastructure, relocate rail lines, improve intercity passenger rail capital assets, and deploy railroad safety technology.

At least 25 percent of the CRISI grant money will be awarded to projects in rural America.

In considering the applications, the FRA said it will consider how projects support key objectives, including enhancing economic vitality; leveraging federal funding; adopting life-cycle accounting; using innovative approaches to improve safety and expedite project delivery; and holding grantees accountable for achieving specific, measurable outcomes.

Preference will be given to projects in which the proposed federal share of total costs does not exceed 50 percent.

The agency said it may also consider geographic diversity; diversity in the size of the systems receiving funding; the applicant’s receipt of other competitive awards; and projects located in, or that support transportation service in, qualified opportunity zones.

Approximately $45 million will be awarded for projects that require the acquisition of rights-of-way, track, or track structure to support developing new intercity passenger rail service routes.

Applications are due on June 19. In the meantime, the FRA will offer web-based training and technical assistance for eligible applicants.

2 Ohio Projects Get Federal Grants

March 14, 2020

Two Ohio projects are among those that have received funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

DOT announced that it has awarded $248.5 million in grant funds under the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements program for state and local railroad infrastructure projects.

The program is administered by the Federal Railroad Administration and this year involved grants for 32 projects in 27 states.

In a news release, DOT said half of the grant funds went to rural projects, which have a 25 percent funding requirement under the program.

The Ohio Rail Development Commission received  $1.7 million to be used to rehabilitate 30 miles of track, including including ties, track surfacing and gauging, of a rail line between Greenfield and Midland.

The project will allow for increased speeds for trains of the Indiana & Ohio Railway on the former Baltimore & Ohio line.

Another grant of $4.7 million went to the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority for multiple rail upgrade projects along the I&O’s Blue Ash and Oasis subdivisions in Cincinnati.

Those lines are owned by the transit authority.

The work include track upgrades to allow for 286,000-pound rail car loads on the Blue Ash Subdivision, and rail yard improvements and three bridge rehabilitation projects on the Oasis Subdivision.

In Michigan, Lake State Railway received $7.9 million to fund replacement of 30 miles of nearly 100-year-old jointed rail with continuous welded rail.

The work will also involve rebuilding switches, improved grade crossing circuitry, and resurfacing grade crossings primarily on the railroad’s Huron Subdivision.

Pennsylvania County Gets $11.9M CRISI Grant

March 13, 2020

A Pennsylvania county has received $11.9 million in federal funding for a project designed to improve freight-rail capacity and safety.

The grant was awarded by the Federal Railroad Administration to McKean County and will benefit that county plus neighboring Venango and Crawford counties.

The funding came from the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements Program

The McKean County economic development agency said the grant will be used to enable some freight now shipped by truck to begin moving by rail.

FRA Accepting CRISI Grant Applications

August 16, 2019

The Federal Railroad Administration has issued a notice of funding opportunity for more than $244 million in grant funding under the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements program.

The grants can be used to help fund projects that increase rail transportation safety, efficiency and reliability, FRA officials said in a news release.

Eligible applications will include projects that address congestion challenges,highway-rail grade crossings, upgrade short-line railroad infrastructure, relocate rail lines, improve intercity passenger rail capital assets, and deploy railroad safety technology.

Freight- and passenger-rail infrastructure projects are eligible to apply.

At least 25 percent of the available funds will be reserved for projects in rural areas.

Preference will be given to projects where the proposed federal share of total costs does not exceed 50 percent.

3 Short Lines Win CRISI Grants

July 11, 2019

Three short-line railroads are among nearly four dozen recipients of more than $326 million in grant funding under the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements and Special Transportation Circumstances programs.

Forty-five projects in 29 states received grants that will be used to help pay for state and local infrastructure projects designed to improve the safety, efficiency and reliability of intercity passenger- and freight-rail systems.

Grant applicants included state departments of transportation, municipalities, port authorities, rail commissions, Amtrak and short lines.

A third of the total grant funding in CRISI grants went to regional and short line railroads, said the Federal Railroad Administration in a news release.

It included $8.7 million to replace 30 miles of rail and upgrade crossings and signals on Lake State Railway in north-central Michigan, $7.2 million for the Indiana Rail Road to replace nine timber rail bridges with concrete ones, and $2.8 million for the Chicago South Shore and South Bend Railroad to upgrade 7.5 miles of track.