WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) today announced the recipients of more than $326 million in grant funds under the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) Program and the Special Transportation Circumstances Program, for a wide variety of state and local railroad infrastructure projects. The grants will fund 45 projects in 29 states.
“These investments in intercity passenger and freight rail will benefit surrounding communities, make grade crossings safer and improve service reliability,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act authorized the CRISI Program, which funds a wide range of projects that improve the safety, efficiency and reliability of intercity passenger and freight rail systems. Over one-third of the funds — more than $118 million — were awarded to rural projects.
“These are the partnerships that help rural and urban communities thrive economically,” said FRA Administrator Ronald Batory. “The participation of multiple partners demonstrates the importance of these funds and tells us they will be a key asset in improving safety for communities and railroads around the country.”
As part of the $326 million announced today, FRA is announcing more than $2 million in Special Transportation Circumstances grant funds to the state of Alaska. These are also authorized by the FAST Act.
Fiscal Year 2018 Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements Program
Restoration and Initiation Projects
Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi — Restoring Intercity Passenger Rail Service Along America’s Gulf Coast
Up to $32,995,516
Southern Rail Commission
Combines 20 Gulf Coast projects in three states, assisting efforts to establish twice daily intercity passenger rail service from New Orleans to Mobile, Alabama, adding a Mobile station and improving grade crossings. Funds preliminary engineering and federal environmental reviews needed to upgrade track to connect Baton Rouge and New Orleans.
Alabama — Old Highway 20 Grade Separation Project
Up to $8 million
City of Huntsville
Eliminates an at-grade crossing of Old Highway 20 and a Norfolk Southern Railway line and creates an overpass at a planned 12,000-foot railyard in Huntsville, Alabama. Completes the last of a three-phase project, supporting the 2021 opening of an adjacent 2,500-acre auto manufacturing plant.
Alabama — Upgrade to U.S. DOT Crossing 727808C1
Up to $175,925
Mobile County Commission
Upgrades a Mobile County, Alabama, public grade crossing at Fiber Road and Norfolk Southern Railway, replacing passive warning devices with lights, bells and gates. The crossing is near a manufacturing expansion expected to increase vehicle and truck traffic.
California — Sierra Northern Railway’s Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvement Up to $17,415,000
Sierra Northern Railway
Rehabilitates 55 miles of the Sierra Northern Railway from Riverbank, California, in the Central Valley to Standard, California, in the Sierra Nevada foothills, upgrading the track.
Florida — Amtrak Sanford Subdivision Infrastructure Renewal Project
Up to $3,850,000
National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak)
Rehabilitates 52 miles of CSX Transportation’s A-Line between Palatka and DeLand train stations in Florida. CSX will transfer the renovated track’s ownership to Amtrak.
Georgia — Central Georgia Rail Corridor Competitiveness Project
Up to $4 million
City of Dublin
Completes a series of track, bridge, tie and surfacing improvements, enabling the entire 171-mile Georgia Central Railway corridor to accommodate 286,000-pound railcars and increase speeds from 10 mph to 25 mph for a third of the main line.
Georgia — Chattooga & Chickamauga Railway Rehabilitation Project
Up to $1,350,000
Georgia Department of Transportation
Improves the safety, efficiency and reliability of freight movement between industries and rail connections in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Brings the Class III Chattooga & Chickamauga Railway into a state of good repair, replacing 20,000 crossties, installing 8,750 tons of ballast and resurfacing crossings.
Georgia — Heart of Georgia-Midville Reactivation Project
Up to $820,000
Georgia Department of Transportation
Rehabilitates the Heart of Georgia-Midville line between mile posts 162 and 161 in Nunez, Georgia. Upgraded track will support 286,000-pound freight cars at speeds up to 25 mph.
Georgia — Georgia Southwestern Railroad Upgrade Project
Up to $2,605,000
Georgia Department of Transportation
Upgrades 13 timber rail bridges, 5.45 miles of 85-pound rail to 115-pound rail and 11,000 crossties along the state-owned Georgia Southwestern Railroad rail line, allowing the track to support 286,000-pound rail cars and prevent derailments, closures and emergency repairs and costs.
Georgia — Ogeechee Railroad Upgrade Project
Up to $1,006,950
Georgia Department of Transportation
Upgrades the 22-mile, state-owned Ogeechee Railroad, replacing sections of 85-pound rail with 115-pound rail, replacing crossties and resurfacing ballast.
Illinois — Peru Intermodal, Safety, Congestion and Energy Security Project, Phase II
Up to $6,081,036
City of Peru
Improves grade crossing surfaces and installs approximately 25 miles of 115-pound rail, 20,000 ties, seven switch sets and 7,600 tons of ballast along a 17-mile corridor between Peru and Zearing, Illinois.
Indiana and Illinois — Crawford County Rural Railroad Bridge Project
Up to $7,155,000
The Indiana Rail Road Company
Replaces nine timber railroad bridges in Crawford County, Illinois, on the Indiana Rail Road with concrete bridges, preserving safe and reliable transit times and connectivity from Southern Illinois to Central Indiana.
Indiana — Chicago South Shore & South Bend Rail Rehabilitation and Safety Improvement Project
Up to $2,831,705
Chicago South Shore & South Bend Railroad
Upgrades 7.5 miles of rail, replacing 100-year-old, 90-pound track with 115-pound track between Michigan City and La Porte, Indiana. Upgrades an existing rail crossing north of Highway 35 in Michigan City, ensuring compatibility with the new track.
Indiana — Developing and Implementing a Mobile Device Emergency Responder Access Application for the Louisville and Indiana Railroad Company
Up to $335,361
Louisville and Indiana Railroad Company
Develops a geographic information system mobile application for the Louisville and Indiana Railroad Company with software, linking railroad dispatch and first responders, aiding communication and response during railroad incidents. The railroad will collaborate with the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association and the Short Line Safety Institute.
Indiana — The Graham Creek Bridge Replacement Project
Up to $4.2 million
City of Madison Port Authority
Replaces a structurally deficient, 130-year-old railroad bridge at Graham Creek, roughly 17 miles north of Madison, Indiana.
Maine — Pan Am Railways Mainline Upgrades and Rail Crossing Safety Improvements
Up to $17,468,840
Maine Department of Transportation
Modernizes 75 miles of Pan Am Railway mainline track in central Maine, including replacing 37 miles of rail, upgrading 25 switches, upgrading 47 public and 42 private, at-grade rail crossings, extending and upgrading an existing siding, replacing signal systems and replacing bridge deck timbers on eight rail bridges.
Michigan — Infrastructure Enhancement Program for Lake State Railway’s Mackinaw Subdivision
Up to $8,659,567
Lake State Railway Company
Replaces approximately 30 miles of rail on the state-owned portion of the Lake State Railway Company’s network in north-central Michigan, including grade crossing and signal upgrades.
Minnesota — Joint Elimination — Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvement
Up to $2,010,000
Twin Cities & Western Railroad Company
Replaces approximately 28 miles of rail on the Twin Cities & Western Railroad Company track west of Minneapolis.
Montana — Montana Rail Link Voluntary PTC Design and Engineering Project
Up to $3.5 million
Montana Rail Link Inc.
Completes preliminary engineering, federal environmental review and final design needed to implement positive train control, including interoperability, on 655 miles between Jones Junction — East of Billings, Montana — and Sandpoint (Idaho) Junction.
Nebraska — Nebraska Central Railroad Company Infrastructure Improvements
Up to $8,181,640
Nebraska Central Railroad Company
Improves about 30 timber bridges, replaces approximately five other timber bridges with a steel beam span or rail girder bridges. Replaces degraded rail along 7 miles of mainline track and defective ties along the entire 320-mile Nebraska Central Railroad Company’s tracks in northeastern and central Nebraska.
New York — New York & Ogdensburg Railway/Port of Ogdensburg Intermodal Equipment Upgrades
Up to $800,000
Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority
Funds intermodal equipment purchase needed to move freight on rail, road and waterway between the New York & Ogdensburg Railway and the Port of Ogdensburg, New York. Includes an underbelly conveyor to offload railcars, two front-end loaders and two conveyors to load vessels.
North Dakota — Minot Intermodal Facility
Up to $400,000
North Dakota Department of Transportation
Completes preliminary engineering and federal environmental review for the Minot Intermodal Facility in Minot, North Dakota. Features include additional rail lines, container storage and grade crossing improvements.
Ohio — Improving Transportation in Support of the American Steel Industry
Up to $3,284,000
Ohio Rail Development Commission
Rehabilitates the Port Delta Yard and constructs additional mainline siding capacity in Delta, Ohio. Installs approximately 14,000 railroad ties, 43,000 tons of ballast and 11 turnouts.
Oregon — Lake County Railroad Rehabilitation
Up to $5.6 million
County of Lake – Lake County Railroad
Rehabilitates 55 miles of a county-owned rail line from Northern California to southcentral Oregon, including significant rail bridge rehabilitation. Replaces 100-year-old rail and ties and repairs turnouts. Upgrades grade crossings and ballast needed to accommodate 286,000-pound cars.
South Carolina — South Carolina Piedmont Freight Rail Service Improvement Program
Up to $8,752,185
Lancaster and Chester Railroad, LLC
Adds three new locomotives, rehabilitates the Catawba River Rail Bridge and upgrades 46 miles of track on the Lancaster & Chester Railroad from Chester to Kershaw, South Carolina, allowing the rail line to support a larger volume of 286,000-pound cars at increased operating speeds.
Arkansas — Jonesboro Industrial Lead Project
Up to $2,335,400
City of Jonesboro
Expands and reconfigures the entrance to the Craighead Industrial Park to increase railcar storage capacity, relocate a rail switch and reduce train movements through an adjacent grade crossing located on the east side of Jonesboro, Arkansas.
California — Construct Improvements at the Fullerton Junction Interlocking and Third Main Track between Control Point Atwood and Control Point Esperanza on the BNSF San Bernardino Subdivision
Up to $30 million
Southern California Regional Rail Authority
Project consists of multiple track and signal improvements, both east and west of the Fullerton train station, including constructing a 4.8-mile third mainline track. Reduces cascading delays to Amtrak, Metrolink and BNSF operations.
Florida — Florida Strategies for Reducing Railway Trespassing
Up to $157,683
Florida Department of Transportation
Launches pilot program using drone technology, closed-circuit television with remote monitoring and geographic information system spatial analysis to aid partnerships among local law enforcement agencies to combat trespassing in Volusia, Seminole, Orange and Osceola counties.
Florida — Mitigating Jacksonville’s Freight Train-Vehicle/Pedestrian Conflicts
Up to $17,615,500
Florida Department of Transportation
Upgrades switches, constructs track and improves rail communications technology to alleviate rail and road congestion through San Marco and over the St. John’s River rail bridge in Jacksonville without blocking grade crossings.
Illinois — CREATE Project WA11-Dolton Junction Interlocking
Up to $19,206,398
Illinois Department of Transportation
Serves as a component of the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency program to upgrade and reconfigure the CSX Transportation, Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad and Union Pacific track and signaling connections at Dolton Interlocking and improves nine at-grade crossings.
Kansas — Rural Railroad Safety Center
Up to $2,574,365
Kansas State University
Develops the Rural Railroad Safety Center that Kansas State University will lead with partner institutions — University of Nebraska, Lincoln; University of Florida; Pennsylvania State University, Altoona; and California State University, Chico — to provide railroad industry workforce development and safety research.
Maryland — Canton Railroad Company: Switch Replacement Project
Up to $1,184,147
Canton Railroad Company
Replaces 28 aging switches of the shortline Canton Railroad Company that connects CSX, Norfolk Southern and the Port of Baltimore to reduce derailment risk, including hazardous materials traveling through downtown Baltimore.
Missouri — MacArthur Bridge Rehabilitation Project
Up to $28,790,947
Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis
Rehabilitates the Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis’ MacArthur Bridge, which connects St. Louis, Missouri, and East St. Louis, Illinois, over the Mississippi River to accommodate 315,000-pound railcars. FRA granted this project’s Broadway Truss component more than $7 million in 2017 CRISI funds. This grant, coupled with the previously awarded funds, completes the 100-year old bridge rehabilitation.
North Carolina — Piedmont Atlantic Intermodal Rail System
Up to $34,898,895
North Carolina Department of Transportation
Expands rail freight service from the Port of Wilmington to Charlotte, North Carolina. Completes preliminary engineering, federal environmental review, final design and construction to upgrade 9.5 miles of track, including realigning curves and upgrading switch operations. Rehabilitates two railroad bridges over Cape Fear River and improves 33 at-grade crossings.
North Carolina — Wilmington Rail Realignment Project
Up to $2 million
City of Wilmington
Completes preliminary engineering and federal environmental review for a long-term proposal to move freight rail from the city’s urban core to a new rail bypass and bridge across the Cape Fear River to eliminate 32 grade crossings.
New York — New York and Atlantic Track Realignment and Rehabilitation Project
Up to $368,679
New York and Atlantic Railway
Constructs 650 feet of new track on an improved alignment and connection to reduce the severity of the turning curve on the Class III New York & Atlantic Railway in Fresh Pond, New York. This track carries all Long Island freight rail traffic.
Rhode Island — TF Green Airport Intercity Rail Service Preliminary Engineering
Up to $2.8 million
Rhode Island Department of Transportation
Completes preliminary engineering and federal environmental review for a new Amtrak stop at TF Green airport in Warwick, Rhode Island, the only airport adjacent to the Northeast Corridor without direct access to it.
Texas — Port Freeport
Up to $6,312,634
Expands rail capacity at Port Freeport by adding about 4.5 miles of four main tracks.
Utah — Vineyard Rail Consolidation Project
Up to $6,839,272
Utah Department of Transportation
Relocates 2 miles of Union Pacific track that bisects Vineyard City, Utah, thereby eliminating three public crossings, two private crossings and two inactive crossings to make room for residential and commercial growth, including an intermodal bus and rail station.
Virginia — Freeman Avenue / Norfolk-Portsmouth Beltline Railroad Overpass
Up to $10,170,000
City of Chesapeake
Completes preliminary engineering, federal environmental review, final design and construction of a roadway overpass to grade separate the crossing of the Class III Norfolk and Portsmouth Beltline Railroad at Freeman Avenue in Chesapeake, Virginia, to allow for increased rail yard operations and capacity.
Washington — Meadowdale Beach Park Railroad Bridge
Up to $3.5 million
Replaces a BNSF railroad culvert with a five-span railroad bridge approximately 20 miles north of Seattle to improve a pedestrian-rail crossing.
Washington — Pines Road/BNSF Grade Separation Project
Up to $1,246,500
City of Spokane Valley
Completes preliminary engineering and federal environmental review to replace a BNSF Railway at-grade crossing at Pines Road with an underpass and upgrades the adjacent Pines Road-Trent Avenue roadway intersection.
Wisconsin — Milwaukee Area Passenger and Freight Rail Improvement Project: Milwaukee Intermodal Centralized Train Control Installation
Up to $2,699,451
Wisconsin Department of Transportation
Upgrades signal system to centralized train control on approximately 2 miles of track surrounding the Milwaukee Intermodal Station on the state-supported Hiawatha Amtrak service, building on a fiscal year 2017 CRISI grant to add a second platform at the airport station. Enables the 20 freight trains and 16 passenger trains that daily travel the area to operate closer to permitted speeds.
Fiscal Year 2018 Special Transportation Circumstances Program
Alaska — Flat Car Electrification Project
Up to $1,405,871
Installs or converts 480/240-volt electrical power capabilities on 28 Alaska Railroad Corporation flatcars to allow temperature control on trailer-hauled freight.
Alaska — Flat Car Acquisition Project
Up to $921,808
Purchases 10 new 89-foot general service flat cars for the Alaska Railroad Corporation, allowing multiple container configurations and the removal of 16 older, shorter flat cars.