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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

FRA announces $303 million in 'state of good repair' grants

An $80 million grant will go toward the North Carolina Department of Transportation's plan to upgrade its fleet on the Amtrak Piedmont service.
Photo – NCDOT


The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) yesterday announced the recipients of more than $302 million in grant funds under the federal-state partnership for State of Good Repair Program to help repair railroad infrastructure. The grants will fund 12 projects in nine states.

The program funds capital projects to repair, replace or rehabilitate publicly or Amtrak-owned or controlled railroad assets to reduce the state-of-good-repair backlog and improve intercity passenger-rail performance. Eligible projects include upgrading track, switches, bridges, passenger stations and grade crossings; and equipment, including passenger cars, FRA officials said in a press release.

The fiscal-year 2019 program selections total $302.6 million of the $396 million made available for grants under the 2019 Consolidation Appropriations Act. The FRA will make the remaining $93.4 million available with a notice of funding opportunity for FY2020 partnership program funds.

"This funding will go a long way in addressing passenger-rail capital project needs in communities around the country," said FRA Administrator Ronald Batory.

The FY2019 grant selections are as follows:
$80 million to the North Carolina Department of Transportation to purchase six locomotives and 13 passenger coaches to replace existing state-owned equipment that are 30- and 50-years old, respectively. The project is the second phase of the departments equipment procurement program. The equipment will serve Amtrak's Piedmont service between Charlotte and Raleigh.
$55.1 million to Amtrak and New Jersey Transit for the Portal North Bridge project, which replaces the existing two-track movable Portal Bridge with a new 2.4-mile, two-track fixed span crossing the Hackensack River in northern New Jersey.
$36.4 million to NJ Transit and Amtrak to reconstruct Substation 41, an Amtrak-owned electrical facility in Kearny, New Jersey, that powers the Northeast Corridor main line in northern New Jersey into Penn Station in New York City.
$30 million to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to replace 210 catenary structures on Amtrak's Hell Gate Line between Penn Station in New York City and New Rochelle, New York.
$29.9 million to the Connecticut Department of Transportation and Amtrak to replace the existing movable Norwalk River Bridge with two independent two-track vertical lift bridges. The project is a regional priority in the Northeast Corridor Commission's five-year capital plan.
$17.5 million to MTA to rehabilitate platforms 7 and 8 at Penn Station in New York City.
$12.5 million to Metra to rehabilitate and modernize three interlockings on the Metra-owned Milwaukee North Line in Illinois, which is used by Amtrak's Hiawatha and Empire Builder routes.
$11.6 million to the San Diego Association of Governments and North County Transit District (NCTD) to upgrade a section of district-owned track located on sensitive coastal bluffs in Del Mar, California. Railroads that use the track include Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner service, NCTD's Coaster service and freight carriers.
$8.3 million to Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to rehabilitate and upgrade Track 2 from Glen Interlocking to Thorn Interlocking in Chester County on the Amtrak Harrisburg Line between Philadelphia and Harrisburg. The corridor serves Amtrak, SEPTA and freight trains.
$8 million to Amtrak and the Maryland Department of Transportation/Maryland Transportation Authority to rehabilitate and upgrade five miles of the Northeast Corridor mainline near Baltimore. The project will enable high-speed operations on all four tracks on this segment, as well as enable service to be maintained while tracks are taken out of service to allow repairs to the B&P Tunnel.
$6.75 million to the Southern California Regional Rail Authority, for rehabilitation and scour mitigation on four existing bridges on the authority-controlled Ventura Subdivision, used by Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner and Metrolink's Venture County Line service.
$6.5 million to the Michigan Department of Transportation to rehabilitate and upgrade track infrastructure on the state-owned Kalamazoo-Dearborn corridor, which is used by Amtrak's Wolverine and Blue Water services, as well as multiple freight operators.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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