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Grants & Loans

FRA supports passenger and freight railroading through a variety of competitive grant, dedicated grant, and loan programs to develop safety improvements, relieve congestion, and encourage the expansion and upgrade of passenger and freight rail infrastructure and services. FRA also provides training and technical assistance to grantees and stakeholders.

Competitive Discretionary Programs

NEW FY 2017 Positive Train Control Grant Funds

This notice details the application requirements and procedures for obtaining funding for eligible FY 2017 Positive Train Control (PTC) Grant projects. Funding under this program is available to recipients of funding under 49 U.S.C. Chapter 53 (Public Transportation Programs), including commuter rail systems, states, and local governments. This program is being jointly administered by FRA and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The funding available under this Notice of Funding Opportunity, $199 million, may be awarded to eligible projects for the installation of PTC systems—including, but not limited to, back office systems; wayside, communications, and onboard hardware equipment; and spectrum acquisition.  Under this grant program, the intended outcomes and benefits of the funded projects are accelerated implementation, increased interoperability, and improved reliability of PTC systems. 

NEW Railroad Safety Infrastructure Improvement Grants

This notice details the application requirements and procedures for obtaining discretionary funding for eligible Railroad Safety Infrastructure Improvement Grant projects.  The funding available under this Notice of Funding Opportunity, $25,000,000, is available to projects that make safety improvements to railroad infrastructure.  Eligible projects include the acquisition, improvement, or rehabilitation of intermodal or rail equipment, such as rolling stock, locomotives, and passenger cars; or rail facilities, including track, bridges, tunnels, yards, buildings, passenger stations, and maintenance and repair shops

NEW Railroad Safety Technology Grants for Positive Train Control (PTC)

This notice details the application requirements and procedures for obtaining discretionary funding for eligible Railroad Safety Technology Grant projects. The funding available under this Notice of Funding Opportunity, $25,000,000, is limited to eligible projects that implement a PTC system or will otherwise benefit overall PTC system implementation on freight, intercity passenger, and commuter railroads.

Railroad Safety Grants for the Safe Transportation of Energy Products by Rail Program

This notice contains the requirements and procedures applicants must follow to compete for funding under the Railroad Safety Grants for the Safe Transportation of Energy Products by Rail Program. This Program makes $10,000,000 in discretionary funding available to states for public and private railroad grade crossing enhancement and track improvement projects that improve safety on rail routes that transport flammable energy products.

Magnetic Levitation Projects – Grant Application Solicitation

FRA is soliciting grant applications to fund preconstruction planning activities or capital costs of a viable, existing magnetic levitation (maglev) project(s).  Note – this is a limited-eligibility funding opportunity.

FY14 Grant Application Solicitation 

Provides financial assistance for eligible intercity passenger rail grade crossing improvement projects, positive train control implementation projects, and Passenger Rail Corridor Investment Plan projects.

High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Program (HSIPR)

Addresses long-term high and higher speed passenger transport needs in key corridors throughout the country. Currently not accepting applications.

Rail Line Relocation & Improvement Capital Grant Program (RLR)

Provides financial assistance for local rail line relocation and improvement projects that involve a lateral or vertical line relocation and also mitigate the adverse effects of rail traffic on safety, motor vehicle traffic flow, community quality of life, or economic development. Currently not accepting applications.

Railroad Rehabilitation & Repair (Disaster Assistance)

Provides the Secretary of Transportation funds for necessary expenses to make grants to repair and rehabilitate Class II and Class III railroad infrastructure damaged by hurricanes, floods, and other natural disasters in areas for which the President declared a major disaster. Currently not accepting applications.

Railroad Safety Technology Grant Program

Provides financial assistance to passenger and freight rail carriers, railroad suppliers and state and local governments for the deployment of positive train control (PTC) collision avoidance systems and complementary advanced Technologies. Currently not accepting applications.

Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER)

The Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER Discretionary Grant program, is a DOT-wide program investing in critical road, rail, transit and port projects across the nation, managed by DOT’s Office of the Secretary. 

Railway-Highway Crossing Hazard Elimination

The HSR program is authorized by 23 U.S.C. § 104, and has been reauthorized and continued through March 31, 2012. The purpose of the program is to provide funding for safety improvements at both public and private highway-rail grade crossings along federally designated high-speed rail corridors. This program is jointly administered by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

University Grants

Enhances FRA's safety R&D program by developing cooperative research relationships with selected academic institutions. Currently not accepting applications.

Dedicated Grant Programs

Amtrak Capital Grants

FRA is responsible for administering federal grants to Amtrak, which has led to increased FRA oversight of Amtrak spending since Fiscal year 2003.

Railroad Safety State Participation Grants

FRA provides funding to certify state inspectors to conduct investigative and surveillance activities to ensure that the application and interpretation of federal railroad safety rules, regulations, orders, and standards reflect the same national uniformity.

Operation Lifesaver, Inc (OLI)

A national not-for-profit rail safety organization, OLI receives funding to support its public education efforts to reduce collisions between trains and motor vehicles at highway-rail grade crossings, and discourage illegal trespassing along railroad rights of way.  

Alaska Railroad

Receives no operating subsidies from the federal government, although both the FRA and Federal Transit Administration administer capital grants that fund specific rail improvement projects as identified by Congress in annual appropriations or multi-year authorizations.

Loan Programs

Railroad Rehabilitation & Improvement Financing (RRIF) Program

Provides direct loans and loan guarantees to acquire, improve, or rehabilitate intermodal or rail equipment or facilities, including track, bridges, yards, buildings and shops; refinance outstanding debt incurred for the purposes listed above; and develop or establish new intermodal or railroad facilities.  Currently Accepting Applications

Transportation Innovation & Finance (TIFIA)

This is a Department of Transportation program which makes three forms of credit assistance available -- secured (direct) loans, loan guarantees and standby lines of credit -- for surface transportation projects of national or regional significance. Currently Accepting Applications

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