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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

Federal lawmakers introduce bill to expand RRIF program

U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster (D-N.H.)
Photo – Office of Annie Kuster


Federal lawmakers representing New Hampshire and Pennsylvania earlier this week introduced a bill that would help finance the construction of a commuter-rail connection between Manchester and Nashua, New Hampshire, and Boston.

The Invest in American Railroads Act, introduced by U.S. Reps. Annie Kuster (D-N.H.), Chris Pappas (D-N.H.) and Lloyd Smucker (R-Pa.), would expand the use of funding under the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) program.

The changes would allow states, local governments and private groups to use the program to upgrade existing rail infrastructure and develop rail lines and rail facilities, Kuster said in a press release. 

Currently, the USDOT issues RRIF funds to public or private entities for the purpose of rehabilitating or building new track, bridges, rail yards and other support structures for passenger railroads and short lines.

“The program is significantly underutilized,” Kuster said.