Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements

 

To fund projects that improve the safety, efficiency, and/or reliability of intercity passenger and freight rail systems.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Active
Program Number
20.325
Federal Agency/Office
Federal Railroad Administration, Department of Transportation
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2018 FRA received applications requesting FY 2017 CRISI funds. For the FY 2018 CRISI-PTC set-aside, FRA announced the selection of 28 projects totaling $203.7 million.
Fiscal Year 2019 FRA announced the selection of 18 FY 2017 CRISI projects ($56.9 million), 43 FY 2018 CRISI projects ($324 million), and 11 FY 2018 CRISI PTC set-aside projects ($46,.3 million). These intercity passenger and freight rail projects will benefit surrounding communities, make grade crossings safer, and improve service reliability.
Fiscal Year 2020 FRA anticipates announcing the FY 2019 notice of funding opportunity and receiving applications requesting FY 2019 funds ($244.6 million).
Authorization
Section 11301 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) (2015), Public Law 114-94, 49 U.S.C. 22907
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Interstate, Public nonprofit institution/organization (includes institutions of higher education), Other public institution/organization, Profit organization, State (1) A State. (2) A group of States. (3) An Interstate Compact. (4) A public agency or publicly chartered authority established by 1 or more States. (5) A political subdivision of a State. (6) Amtrak or another rail carrier that provides intercity rail passenger transportation (7) A Class II railroad or Class III railroad (8) Any rail carrier or rail equipment manufacturer in partnership with at least 1 of the entities in (1) through (5). (9) The Transportation Research Board and 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. (11) A non-profit labor organization representing a class or craft of employees of rail carriers or rail carrier contractors.
Beneficiary Eligibility
(1) A State. (2) A group of States. (3) An Interstate Compact. (4) A public agency or publicly chartered authority established by 1 or more States. (5) A political subdivision of a State. (6) Amtrak or another rail carrier that provides intercity rail passenger transportation (7) A Class II railroad or Class III railroad (8) Any rail carrier or rail equipment manufacturer in partnership with at least 1 of the entities in (1) through (5). (9) The Transportation Research Board and 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.
Credentials/Documentation
SF424 (Application for Federal Assistance); SF 424A - Budget Information for Non-Construction or SF 424C Budget Information for Construction; SF 424B - Assurances for Non-Construction or SF 424D - Assurances for Construction; FRA's Additional Assurances and Certifications; and SF LLL: Disclosure of Lobbying Activities. Other documents may be required as pre-requisites to funding based on program type; documentation demonstrating applicant eligibility (for applicants other than States); National Environmental Policy Act documentation for construction projects and service development programs; program-specific Assurances and Certifications; planning and engineering documentation.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is required. This program is eligible for coverage under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Required documents for an application package are: Project Narrative, Statement of Work, Benefit-Cost Analysis, Environmental Compliance Documentation, SF424 - Application for Federal Assistance, SF 424C - Budget Information for Construction, or, for an equipment procurement project without any construction costs, or SF 424A - Budget Information for Non-Construction, SF 424D - Assurances for Construction, or, for an equipment procurement project without any construction costs, or SF 424B - Assurances for Non-Construction, FRA's Additional Assurances and Certifications, SF LLL - Disclosure of Lobbying Activities.
Award Procedure
Applications selected for funding will be announced in a press release and on FRA's website after the application review period. FRA will contact applicants with successful applications after announcement with information and instructions about the award process. This notification is not an authorization to begin proposed project activities. A formal grant agreement or cooperative agreement signed by both the grantee and the FRA, including an approved scope, schedule, and budget, is required before the award is considered complete.
Deadlines
Contact the headquarters or regional location, as appropriate for application deadlines
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
FRA is committed to responding to applicants in a reasonable and timely manner. Response times will vary based on size, scope, complexity and volume of applications.
Appeals
Not applicable.
Renewals
Not applicable.
How are proposals selected?
FRA will give preference to: o Projects where the Federal share of total project costs is 50 percent or less. o Projects where the proposed non-Federal share is comprised of more than one source including private sources, demonstrated broad participation by affected stakeholders. o Projects where the net benefits of the grant funds are maximized considering the benefit-cost analysis, including anticipated private and public benefits relative to the costs of the proposed project, and factoring in the other considerations described below. After applying the above preferences, FRA will take in account the key Departmental priorities. Other considerations include: the degree to which the proposed project's business plan considers potential private sector participation in the financing, construction, or operation of the project.; the recipient's past performance in developing and delivering similar projects, and previous financial contributions; whether the recipient has or will have the legal, financial, and technical capacity to carry out the proposed project, satisfactory continuing control over the use of the equipment or facilities, and the capability and willingness to maintain the equipment or facilities; if applicable, the consistency of the proposed project with planning guidance and documents set forth by the Secretary or required by law or State rail plans developed under chapter 227; if applicable, any technical evaluation ratings the proposed project received under previous competitive grant programs administered by the Secretary; and other factors as the Secretary considers relevant to the successful delivery of the project.
How may assistance be used?
(1) Deployment of railroad safety technology, including positive train control and rail integrity inspection systems. (2) A capital project as defined in section 24401(2), except that a project shall not be required to be in a State rail plan developed under chapter 227. (3) A capital project identified by the Secretary as being necessary to address congestion challenges affecting rail service. (4) A capital project identified by the Secretary as being necessary to reduce congestion and facilitate ridership growth in intercity passenger rail transportation along heavily traveled rail corridors. (5) A highway-rail grade crossing improvement project, including installation, repair, or improvement of grade separations, railroad crossing signals, gates, and related technologies, highway traffic signalization, highway lighting and crossing approach signage, roadway improvements such as medians or other barriers, railroad crossing panels and surfaces, and safety engineering improvements to reduce risk in quiet zones or potential quiet zones. (6) A rail line relocation and improvement project. (7) A capital project to improve short-line or regional railroad infrastructure. (8) The preparation of regional rail and corridor service development plans and corresponding environmental analyses. (9) Any project that the Secretary considers necessary to enhance multimodal connections or facilitate service integration between rail service and other modes, including between intercity rail passenger transportation and intercity bus service or commercial air service. (10) The development and implementation of a safety program or institute designed to improve rail safety. (11) Any research that the Secretary considers necessary to advance any particular aspect of rail related capital, operations, or safety improvements; and (12) Workforce development and training activities, coordinated to the extent practicable with the existing local training programs supported by the Department of Transportation, the Department of Labor, and the Department of Education. ~96% discretionary funds (where 25% of these funds are allocated to rural areas) in FY 17, 18, and 19. Restrictions: $45,547,000 in FY 17 and 18 funds allocated to capital projects for initiation/restoration of service; $250 M in FY 18 funds allocated for the implementation of positive train control; ~3% of funds allocated to Alaska, Hawaii, South Dakota, and Wyoming based on those states’ rail route miles as a percentage of the nation’s total rail route miles; 1% takedown.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Reporting
Performance Reports: Grant recipients will be monitored periodically by FRA to ensure that the project goals, objectives, performance requirements, timelines, milestones, budgets, and other related program criteria are being met. Monitoring may include onsite visits or detailed, interactive desk reviews. In addition, grantees are provided with intensive technical assistance from grants staff on a daily basis.
Auditing
No additional requirements.
Records
During the course of its activities under a grant agreement and for three years thereafter, the applicant must agree to retain intact and to provide any data, documents, reports, records, contracts, and supporting materials relating to its performance under the agreement as FRA may require. Reporting and record-keeping requirements are set forth in 2 C.F.R. Part 200 for private non-profit and for-profit Grantees. Closeout does not alter these requirements.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory Formula: Public Law 114-94 (Portion of CRISI funding for Special Transportation Circumstances Grants.)

Matching is voluntary. 20%. The Federal share of total project costs under this section shall not exceed 80 percent.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
No restriction on period of time the assistance normally is available. Assistance is awarded upon request for reimbursement Funding is obligated through cooperative agreements or grants, and outlays occur as reimbursement. Funding will only be obligated and disbursed as milestones are achieved.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
None/Not specified.
Headquarters Office
Felicia Young
1200 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, DC 20590 US
felicia.young@dot.gov
Phone: (202) 493-6441
Website Address
http://www.fra.dot.gov
Financial Information
Account Identification
69-2811-0-1-401
Obligations
(Project Grants) FY 18$0.00; FY 19 est $194,170,709.00; FY 20 est $233,298,899.00; FY 17$0.00; FY 16$0.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
The range was between $1,767,665 and $8,081,222 with an average of $3,943,990 in first half of FY 2019.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Recipients of funds must comply with all applicable requirements of Federal law, including, without limitation, the Constitution of the United States; the conditions of performance, nondiscrimination requirements, and other assurances made applicable to the award of funds in accordance with regulations of the Department of Transportation; and applicable Federal financial assistance and contracting principles promulgated by the Office of Management and Budget. In complying with these requirements, recipients, in particular, must ensure that no concession agreements are denied or other contracting decisions made on the basis of speech or other activities protected by the First Amendment. If the Department determines that a recipient has failed to comply with applicable Federal requirements, the Department may terminate the award of funds and disallow previously incurred costs, requiring the recipient to reimburse any expended award funds. Examples of administrative and national policy requirements include: 2 CFR Part 200; procurement standards; compliance with Federal civil rights laws and regulations; requirements for disadvantaged business enterprises, debarment and suspension requirements, and drug-free workplace requirements; FRA's and OMB's Assurances and Certifications; Americans with Disabilities Act; safety requirements; NEPA; environmental justice requirements; performance measures under 49 U.S.C. 22907(f); grant conditions under 49 U.S.C. 22905, including the Buy America requirements, the provision deeming operators rail carriers for certain purposes and grantee agreements with railroad right-of-way owners for projects using railroad right-of way. See an example of standard terms and conditions for FRA grant awards at https://www.fra.dot.gov/eLib/Details/L19057.
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2019 Examples of projects funded in FY 2019 include positive train control implementation, testing, and training.
Fiscal Year 2020 Examples of projects anticipated for funding in FY 2020 include positive train control implementation, testing, and training; grade crossing improvements; track, signal, and bridge rehabilitations and replacements; and research, planning, design, and preliminary engineering work.

 



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