Railroad Development


To provide financial assistance for: planning and developing railroad corridors (including environmental studies), purchasing rail equipment, rail line relocation and improvement projects, construction projects that improve rail lines, enhance service, and add capacity to the national rail system, capital construction, rehabilitation and improvements benefiting train operations.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Federal Railroad Administration, Department of Transportation
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2016 The program will include the completion of detailed environmental studies and documentation plus preparation of Environmental Impact Studies. One project was obligated in FY 16 to construct a new station building that will be fully ADA-compliant and better meet the needs of the traveling public.
Fiscal Year 2018 Two projects were completed in FY 2018.
Fiscal Year 2019 Two projects were completed in FY 2019.
Fiscal Year 2020 FRA anticipates the completion of grade crossing improvements and planning studies for new and/or improved railroad facilities in FY 2020.
Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), Public Law 109-59
Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (aka - MAP-21),, Public Law 112-141
Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (aka - RSIA 2008), Public Law 110-432
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
State governments (includes District of Columbia); Regional and Local governments (excludes institutions of higher education and hospitals); For-profit organizations, such as railroads.
Beneficiary Eligibility
State governments Regional and local governments For-profit organizations, such as railroads.
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. At a minimum, the applicant must submit the following information: Application for Federal Assistance SF-424; US Department of Transportation Federal Railroad Administration Assurances and Certification forms(https://www.fra.dot.gov/eLib/Details/L05284); Certification Regarding Debarment, suspension, and other Responsibility Matters - Primary Covered Transactions; Certification Regarding Drug-Free Workplace Requirements; Certification Regarding Lobbying; Assurances - Non-Construction Programs, SF 424C or Assurances - Construction, SF424D (whichever is specified in the announcement); Certificate of Indirect Costs; Detailed project descriptions, statement of work, and budgets; Description of work completed to date; and description of type and source of matching funds.
Award Procedure
Review the application package to ensure that all required documents are complete and signed by the appropriate person. Review the statement of work (SOW) and budget to ensure the appropriation language requirements are met. Review SOW for technical issues and budget for appropriate costs, including compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act, as appropriate and related laws and orders. Competitive comparison of applications to determine relative satisfaction of published selection criteria might occur for some grants. Following selection (if applicable) and after the application package is acceptable to both parties, a grant agreement is drafted, reviewed, and signed upon agreement by both parties.
Contact the headquarters or regional location, as appropriate for application deadlines
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
How are proposals selected?
The work and cost estimates are reasonable and are within the scope of the appropriation language. For the grants competed, the selection criteria will be specified in the final regulations, and shall include, but shall not be limited to, prioritizing criteria defined in relevant authorizing and appropriations law, and criteria intended to ensure the timely completion of funding projects.
How may assistance be used?
(1) The financial assistance may fund, but is not limited to, rehabilitation or construction of railroads, including planning activities and associated studies. (2) The financial assistance may also fund freight projects of national or regional significance such as railway-highway grade crossing or grade separation projects; or a freight project that is (1) an intermodal or rail project or (2) within the boundaries of a public or private freight rail, water, or intermodal facility.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
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.
No additional requirements.
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 is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching is voluntary. Matching is determined by each award.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
The restriction is based on the period of performance as outlined in the grant award. Grant award assistance for expenditures is awarded on a reimbursable basis. ACH reimbursement
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
Phone: (202) 493-6441
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Cooperative Agreements) FY 18$57,739,092.00; FY 19 est $3,100,000.00; FY 20 est $3,811,690.00; FY 17$25,904,800.00; FY 16$31,561,467.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Range for FY18 from $595,200 to $40,200,000 with an average of $11,547,818.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
These two Acts and associated regulations provide the primary guidance for this program: The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), and related laws Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (Public Law 109-59).
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2017 1) A feasibility study that will evaluate existing rail infrastructure to identify potential improvements that will increase maximum allowable train speeds and assess the feasibility of passenger rail service. 2) A Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for a proposed high-speed ground transportation corridor. 3) The conceptual design for the rehabilitation and modernization of an existing tunnel.
Fiscal Year 2018 Examples of projects completed in FY 2018 include studies to evaluate existing rail infrastructure in order to identify potential improvements that will increase maximum allowable train speeds, assess the feasibility of passenger rail service, and complete an environmental impact statement.
Fiscal Year 2019 Examples of projects completed in FY 2019 include a study to evaluate the environmental impacts of relocating a current railway alignment and the construction of a new station building.
Fiscal Year 2020 Examples of projects anticipated for completion in FY 2020 include grade crossing improvements and planning studies for new and/or improved railroad facilities.


Federal Grants Resources