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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

FRA announces $1.4 billion in FY2022 CRISI grants

Amit Bose is adminstrator of the Federal Railroad Administration.
Photo –


The Federal Railroad Administration today announced the award of $1.4 billion in Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) program grants to fund 70 rail improvement projects in 35 states.

The funding will address long-standing rail needs including track improvements, bridge rehabilitations, fewer highway-rail grade crossings and upgrades on routes carrying hazardous materials, FRA officials said in a press release.

Selected projects also aim to improve connectivity, reduce shipping costs, increase resiliency to extreme weather, reduce emissions and support workforce development, they said.

Short lines will receive a record-breaking investment, with $720 million in funding awarded to 47 short-line projects, according to the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA).

"FRA's wise selections make clear that short-line applicants and their partners provided fiercely competitive proposals that delivered on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s stated goals of providing infrastructure investment to improve safety, efficiency, economic vitality and resiliency," said ASLRRA President Chuck Baker in a press release.

The CRISI-funded projects include:

• In eastern Washington state, more than $72.8 million will be used to make several track-related improvements, upgrade grade crossings and enhance infrastructure on the Palouse River & Coulee City Railroad (PCC) through the Rural Rail Rehabilitation Phase II project. The project is part of a multiphase effort to improve the PCC, which is vital to the wheat supply chain. Investments will allow the line to carry modern 286,000-pound rail cars, increase speeds  and protect against the effects of severe storms and washouts.

• In Kentucky, more than $29.5 million will go toward improvements along Paducah and Louisville Railway’s 280-mile main line, including upgrading multiple bridges, rehabilitating locomotives and improving track in a local rail yard through the Foster economic Sustainability Throughout Kentucky project.

• The Tennessee Short-Line Railroads Bridge Bundle project will use $23.7 million to fund upgrading 42 bridges along 10 different short line railroads in need of immediate, extensive repair or replacement.

• In Ohio, more than $16.2 million in federal investments will rehabilitate bridges and make several track-related improvements along approximately 180 miles of the Kanawha River Railroad to allow increased speeds while improving safety, reliability and capacity on a rail line that moves goods including chemicals and hazardous materials.

• In Nebraska, more than $15.2 million will go toward modernizing the Cornhusker Railroad, improving track, grade crossings and a rail-car repair facility. Investments will result in safer and more efficient operations, including improved interchanging of regional trains with Class Is.

• In Maryland, more than $11.5 million will go toward first-ever zero-exhaust-emissions locomotives at the Port of Baltimore. In total, three older, higher-emission locomotives will be replaced with new battery electric locomotives and a battery charger. CSX will use the battery electric locomotives in its Curtis Bay Piers terminal.

Although the majority of selected projects support freight-rail safety and supply chains, CRISI grants will also be used to expand passenger rail to more communities nationwide, FRA officials said. For example, investments in Virginia will result in two new Amtrak round trips and three new commuter-rail round trips on the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad (RF&P) corridor between Washington, D.C., and Richmond — a critical link between northeast and southeast states — while also improving the fluidity of CSX’s freight network.

And in California, two additional daily round trips will be added to the Capitol Corridor between Sacramento and Roseville, and a project eliminating grade crossings in the Central Valley will bring high-speed rail one step closer to becoming a reality.

For the full list of fiscal-year 2022 CRISI project selections, click here.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/25/2023