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Implementing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is committed to implementing those parts of the legislation delegated to our control in an efficient, expeditious, effective and transparent manner. Under the leadership of Secretary LaHood, FRA assists states, localities, other Federal agencies, industry and transportation sector stakeholders to ensure appropriate consultation and coordination among all parties in managing ARRA investments.

High Speed Rail

In April 2009, FRA submitted a strategic plan to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees describing how the FRA will use the $8,000,000,000 in Recovery Act funding to improve and deploy high speed passenger rail systems. The strategic plan includes, among other things, a description of:

  1. The agency’s vision for developing high speed rail services
  2. The proposed schedule for providing grant funds under ARRA
  3. The criteria that will be used to select projects
  4. The reporting and evaluation process that will be used to measure and communicate program effectiveness
  5. The relationship of the ARRA grant programs to the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 (PRIIA)

On June 28, 2009, FRA issued interim program guidance to applicants covering grant terms, conditions and procedures.  This interim provides separate instructions for the high-speed rail corridor program, capital assistance for intercity rail service grants, and congestion grants.



FRA awarded $1,300,000,000 in Recovery Act funds to the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) for capital grants in support of intercity railroad passenger services. $450,000,000 of the funds are to be used for security improvements, including life safety improvements.

Priority uses for the non-security funding include projects for the repair, rehabilitation, or upgrade of railroad assets or infrastructure, and for capital projects that expand passenger rail capacity, including the rehabilitation of rolling stock. Funds are awarded to Amtrak through execution of a formal grant agreement between the FRA and Amtrak. The grant agreement incorporates Recovery Act requirements, including those related to jobs creation, transparency, and timely expenditure.

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