Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements Program (FY 2018)

Overview:  This program will fund projects that improve the safety, efficiency, and reliability of passenger and freight rail. See the FY 2018 Notice of Funding Opportunity for more information. 

Legislative Authority:  

This program was authorized in Section 11301 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, Pub. L. 114-94 (2015); 49 U.S.C. § 24407. Funding under this program was made available by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018, Division L, Title I, Public Law 115-141.

Amount:  $318,430,337

Eligible Projects:

Projects eligible for funding under this grant program include, but are not limited to:

  • Deployment of non-PTC railroad safety technology and rail integrity inspection systems*
  • Capital projects
  • Highway-rail grade crossing improvement projects
  • Rail line relocation and improvement projects
  • Regional rail and corridor service development plans and environmental analyses
  • Any project necessary to enhance multimodal connections or facilitate service integration between rail service and other modes
  • The development and implementation of a safety program or institute
  • Any research to advance any particular aspect of rail-related capital, operations, or safety improvements

* Positive Train Control projects for intercity passenger and freight rail are eligible under other project eligibility categories.

Eligible Recipients:

(1)       State;
(2)       Group of States;
(3)       Interstate Compact;
(4)       Public agency or publicly chartered authority established by one or more States;
(5)       Political subdivision of a State;
(6)       Amtrak or another rail carrier that provides intercity rail passenger transportation;
(7)       Class II railroad or Class III railroad;
(8)       Any rail carrier or rail equipment manufacturer in partnership with at least one of the entities described in (1) through (5);
(9)       Transportation Research Board together with any entity with which it contracts in the development of rail-related research, including cooperative research programs;
(10)   University transportation center engaged in rail-related research; or
(11)   Non-profit labor organization representing a class or craft of employees of rail carriers or rail carrier contractors.

News:  July 19, 2018 Press Release

Required Application Documents:

The following forms needed for the electronic application process are available at www.grants.gov:    

  • 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 Resource 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 Grants.gov. FRA will not accept paper grant applications. All grant applications must be submitted electronically through at http://www.grants.gov/.

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Compliance  – This website provides information related to compliance with NEPA. Applicants are encouraged to contact FRA and obtain preliminary direction regarding the appropriate NEPA required environmental documentation.

Benefit-Cost Analysis Guidance– Please refer to the Benefit-Cost Analysis Guidance for Discretionary Grant Programs prior to preparing a BCA for CRISI applications. In addition, please also refer to the BCA FAQs for some rail-specific examples of how to apply the BCA Guidance to CRISI applications.

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.

Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (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:

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

49 U.S.C. § 24904:  Northeast Corridor improvement program general authority

49 U.S.C. § 24905:  Northeast Corridor Infrastructure and Operations Advisory Commission, Safety Committee