PTC Systems Grants under the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) Program (FY 2018)

Overview:  These grants will fund the deployment of PTC system technology for intercity passenger rail transportation, freight rail transportation, and/or commuter rail passenger transportation. Applications for the PTC Systems Grants under the CRISI program are due by 5 p.m. EDT on July 2, 2018. See the FY 2018 Notice of Funding Opportunity for more information. 

Legislative Authority:  

PTC system funding was authorized under Section 11301 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, Public Law 114-94 (2015); 49 U.S.C. 24407 and funded in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018, Div. L, Title I, Public Law 115-141 (2018 Appropriation). 

Amount:  $250,000,000, of which at least $62,500,000 is available for rural projects.

Eligible Projects:

Projects eligible for funding under this NOFO that deploy PTC systems technology for intercity passenger rail transportation, freight rail transportation, and/or commuter rail passenger transportation include:

  • Back office systems;
  • Wayside, communications, and onboard hardware equipment;
  • Software;
  • Equipment installation;
  • Spectrum;
  • Any component, testing, and training for the implementation of PTC systems; and
  • Interoperability. 

Maintenance and operating expenses incurred after a PTC system is placed in revenue service are ineligible. Applicants considering more comprehensive projects that include both PTC elements and other passenger/freight improvements are directed to request only the PTC element under this NOFO or submit applications for the more comprehensive project under the subsequent NOFO FRA will be issuing for the remainder of the 2018 CRISI funding.

Applicants are not limited in the number of projects for which they seek funding.

Eligible Recipients:

  1. A State;
  2. A group of States;
  3. An Interstate Compact;
  4. A public agency or publicly chartered authority established by one or more States;
  5. A political subdivision of a State;
  6. Amtrak or another Rail Carrier that provides Intercity Rail Passenger Transportation (as defined in 49 U.S.C. § 24102);
  7. A Class II railroad or Class III railroad (as defined in 49 U.S.C. § 20102);
  8. Any Rail Carrier or rail equipment manufacturer in partnership with at least one of the entities described in 1-5 above;
  9. The Transportation Research Board together with any entity with which it contracts in the development of rail-related research, including cooperative research programs;
  10. A University transportation center engaged in rail-related research; or
  11. A non-profit labor organization representing a class or craft of employees of Rail Carriers or Rail Carrier contractors.

News:  May 15, 2018 Press Release

Required Application Documents:

The following forms needed for the electronic application process are available at    

  • SF 424 – Application for Federal Assistance.
  • Either: SF 424A – Budget Information for Non-Construction or SF 424C – Budget Information for Construction.
  • Either: SF 424B – Assurances for Non-Construction or SF 424D – Assurances for Construction.
  • FRA’s Additional Assurances and Certifications.
  • SF LLL – Disclosure of Lobbying Activities.

Additional Resources for Applicants

Applicants are encouraged to review the following resource documents (hyperlinked below), which are intended to aid applicants in preparing applications:

Electronic Grant Application Process – This website provides information on the preliminary steps required before registering with and then using FRA will not accept paper grant applications. All grant applications must be submitted electronically at

Benefit-Cost Analysis Guidance for Discretionary Grant Programs – Please refer to the Benefit-Cost Analysis Guidance for Discretionary Grant Programs prior to preparing a BCA.

Capital Cost Estimating Guidance – By following this guidance, applicants’ cost estimates should be more reliable, and project as-built costs should land within a reasonable range of estimated costs. By using a consistent estimating approach detailed in this guidance, estimates from similar projects can be compared to conduct order-of-magnitude or reasonability checks.

FAST Act – This website provides information about the provisions of the FAST Act (P.L. 114-94) related to FRA. 

2 CFR § 200 – The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards provides a government-wide framework for grants management.

The following links to the U.S Code are cited in the NOFO and provided here for applicants to quickly access information:

41 U.S.C. § 2313 Database for Federal Agency Contract and Grant Officers and Suspension and Debarment Officials

49 U.S.C. § 10102 Definitions

49 U.S.C. § 20102 Definitions

49 U.S.C. § 20157:  Implementation of positive train control systems

49 U.S.C. § 24102:  Rail programs passenger transportation definitions

49 U.S.C. § 24401:  Rail programs passenger transportation definitions

49 U.S.C. § 24405:  Intercity passenger rail service corridor capital assistance grant conditions

49 U.S.C. § 24407:  Consolidated rail infrastructure and safety improvements