The grant funding, which is being made under the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure & Safety Improvements (CRISI) programme and the Special Transportation Circumstances programme, will go to a variety of state and local rail infrastructure across 29 states.
“These investments in intercity passenger and freight rail will benefit surrounding communities, make grade crossings safer and improve service reliability,” said US transportation secretary Elaine Chao.
“These are the partnerships that help rural and urban communities thrive economically,” said FRA administrator Ronald Batory. “The participation of multiple partners demonstrates the importance of these funds and tells us they will be a key asset in improving safety for communities and railroads around the country.”
Projects receiving funding include a scheme in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi to restoring intercity passenger rail service along America’s Gulf Coast; it will get up to US$33m. The work combines 20 Gulf Coast projects in the three states, assisting efforts to establish twice daily intercity passenger rail service from New Orleans to Mobile in Alabama, adding a Mobile station and improving grade crossings. The money will fund preliminary engineering and federal environmental reviews needed to upgrade track to connect Baton Rouge and New Orleans.
Alabama receives up to US$8m for a project in the city of Huntsville to eliminates an at-grade crossing and creates an overpass. It will complete the last of a three-phase project, supporting the 2021 opening of an adjacent manufacturing plant.
California is receiving up to US$17.4m to rehabilitates 55 miles of the Sierra Northern Railway from Riverbankin the Central Valley to Standard in the Sierra Nevada foothills.