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The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) today issued a notice of funding opportunity for its Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) program, which includes more than $318 million in grant funding from the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018.The funding will go toward capital projects aimed at improving passenger- and freight-rail transportation safety, efficiency and reliability, FRA officials said in a press release.At least 25 percent of available funds will be directed to rural communities. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) will give preference to projects with a 50 percent non-federal match from any combination of private, state or local funds.USDOT also will take into account how well each project aligns with its key objectives, including the use of "innovative approaches" to boost safety and expedite project delivery, FRA officials said.The FRA will host webinars on Aug. 8 to aid eligible entities seeking funding. Applications for funding are due no later than Sept. 17, according to the notice publication in the Federal Register.In May, the FRA issued a separate notice of funding opportunity for $250 million in grants to help fund positive train control deployment.