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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

USDOT announces $474 million in TIGER V grants

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) announced yesterday it is awarding $474 million for 52 projects — including 21 related to rail — under the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) V program.

The grants are aimed at large, multi-modal projects that typically are ineligible for other federal funding sources, according to a press release. Grant recipients leverage the money with investments from private-sector partners, states, local governments, metropolitan planning organizations and transit agencies. The TIGER V grants support $1.8 billion in project investments.

As in previous funding rounds, there was an "overwhelming demand" for TIGER V grant money; the USDOT received applications for $9 billion worth of projects from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam.

The grants will fund projects in 37 states. Several announcements have been reported throughout the week from states, agencies and members of Congress, including grants for the Atlanta Beltline and and a Connecticut rail station; two Sound Transit projects; a Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority regional rail line upgrade; and a handful of other rail projects.

In addition, the Vermont Agency of Transportation will receive an $8.9 million grant to help fund an $18.5 million project to rehabilitate 20 miles of the Vermont Railway from Rutland to Leicester. The project includes replacing nine miles of rail, upgrading 11 at-grade farm crossings and other improvements. The upgrades will enable the railroad to eliminate track-related slow orders and pave the way for future expansion of Amtrak's Ethan Allen service from Rutland to Burlington.

Meanwhile, the New Hampshire Northcoast Railroad received a $1.4 million TIGER V grant to repair and improve a 42-mile line between Rochester and Ossipee. The upgrades will improve safety and reliability, and enable the railroad to increase trains speeds and handle 286,000-pound rail cars.

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More News from 9/6/2013