Rail infrastructure projects receive over $368 million in federal grants

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The Federal Railroad Administration on Thursday announced projects across the United States that will receive federal grants totaling more than $368 million to support rail infrastructure improvements.

The 46 projects in 32 states and the District of Columbia are strengthening passenger and freight rail infrastructure. They are all recipients of grants under the CRISI program (Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements).

The projects improve and extend rail passenger transport, including high-speed rail, and aim to increase the resilience and fluidity of the supply chain, the FRA said. They also support short lines and investments in technology and safety.

The CRISI program received a boost from President Joe Biden’s Infrastructure Act, which provided $1 billion per year for the next five years to support the program. According to the FRA, goals that align with grants include those that support safety, economic growth, transport equity, and sustainable and resilient infrastructure. The projects must also enable state and local governments and rail carriers to meet renewed travel demand and strengthen supply chains.

Thanks to increased funding, this round of CRISI grants is one of the largest ever and “marks a major step forward in the Biden-Harris administration’s efforts to revitalize and rebuild the country’s infrastructure,” said said FRA Administrator Amit Bose.

A complete list of funded projects is available here. Projects will receive matching funding from local and national authorities as well as private sources.

Shortline operators, such as Denver-based Pioneer Lines, have expressed gratitude for the grants. Pioneer, a holding company for 15 shortline railroads, is involved in two infrastructure improvement grants, both of which will be matched by state and local groups and the company. One is nearly $2.6 million for Elkhart and Western Railroad in Indiana, and the other is $1.8 million for the Gettysburg and Northern Railway in Pennsylvania.

“Pioneer Lines is dedicated to enhancing safety and customer service on our railroads. The funding provided for this project will do just that by improving crossing safety and track conditions on the Gettysburg and Northern Railway,” said Pioneer Lines CEO Alex Yeros. The railroad “has tremendous growth potential and is ideally located to serve Pennsylvania’s agricultural and manufacturing sectors. We look forward to working with our national and local authorities to develop trade and economic activities throughout the region.

Meanwhile, the Maryland Port Authority thanked FRA Thursday for the nearly $15.7 million award for its intermodal yard upgrade at the Port of Baltimore’s Seagirt Marine Terminal.

Freight rail projects receiving more than $10 million in funding include:

  • Up to $25 million to the Alameda County Transportation Commission for the county’s Rail Safety Improvement Program, which aims to improve safety at 28 railroad crossings and two trespassing sites along of the Union Pacific Way (NYSE: UNP). The improvements aim to make level crossings safer, especially for pedestrians and cyclists.
  • Over $21 million to the Michigan Department of Transportation for infrastructure improvements associated with the Great Lakes Corridor and Great Lakes Central Railroad. The project, selected in part because it meets a federal requirement that certain projects be located in rural areas, will result in fewer track defects and other maintenance issues associated with rail joints.
  • More than $15 million to the Maryland Port Authority for the Port of Baltimore Rail Capacity Modernization Project, which will support multimodal rail, road and water connections to Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC) and CSX (NASDAQ: CSX) and will improve freight rail connections to East Coast and Midwest markets.
  • Over $14 million to the Berks County Redevelopment Authority in Pennsylvania for infrastructure, safety and capacity improvements to the Colebrookdale Railroad. The upgrades, which include track improvements, the rehabilitation or replacement of 14 bridges, and the construction of two rail transload stations and six passing sidings, will meet current shipper demand while providing increased capacity. extra for future growth. The project will also address drainage issues.
  • Nearly $11 million to the Kansas Department of Transportation for infrastructure improvements to the Cimarron Valley Railroad from Dodge City to Hugoton, Kansas. The upgrades will serve local haul options for biodiesel and agricultural products, increase weight capacity and increase permitted speed from 10 mph to 25 mph.
  • $10 million to the Central Puget Sound Regional Transport in Washington for the Stone County Railroad Capacity and Reliability Improvement Project. The purpose of the project is to complete a preliminary engineering and environmental review for track and signal improvements to increase passenger and freight rail capacity along the 12-mile Pacific Northwest high-speed rail corridor in southern Puget Sound.

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