Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing Program


The Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) program provides direct loans and loan guarantees to: State and local governments, interstate compacts consented to by Congress under section 410(a) of the Amtrak Reform and Accountability Act of 1997 (49 U.S.C. 24101); government sponsored authorities and corporations; railroads; joint ventures that include at least one railroad; and solely for the purpose of constructing a rail connection between a plant or facility and a second rail carrier, limited option rail freight shippers that own or operate a plant or other facility that is served by no more than a single railroad.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Office of The Secretary, Department of Transportation
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
E - Direct Loans; F - Guaranteed/Insured Loans
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2017 It is projected one loan will close
Fiscal Year 2019 During FY2019, the USDOT approved two RRIF loans totaling over $913 million, including a $908 million loan for a passenger rail project in the Dallas area, and a $5.9 million loan for an improvement project at the Port of Everett, Washington.
Fiscal Year 2020 During FY2020, the USDOT approved one RRIF loan totaling $851.15 million for a commuter rail safety project in eastern Massachusetts.
Fiscal Year 2021 During FY2022, the USDOT approved one RRIF loan totaling $203,341,581 million for a commuter rail project in Indiana.
Fiscal Year 2023 To date, DOT’s Build America Bureau has closed more than $7.6 billion in RRIF financings. In FY2023, loans were approved for up to $181.6 million for two projects.
Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976 (Public Law 94-210), Title V, 45 U.S.C. 821-823
Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU)
Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008
Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Eligible borrowers include railroads, state and local governments, government-sponsored authorities and corporations, joint ventures that include at least one railroad, and limited option freight shippers which intend to construct a new rail connection.
Beneficiary Eligibility
The beneficiaries of the Program will be the State or local government organizations, railroad, joint ventures that include a railroad, and limited option freight shippers that will receive the financial assistance to permit them to complete the specified projects.
All applicants must demonstrate relevant experience, strong qualifications, a sound project approach, all necessary funding commitments, and a project that can demonstrate financial feasibility. Applicants also must meet various Federal standards for participation in a Federal credit program. For example, applicant may not be delinquent or in default on any Federal debts. Such requirements will be specified in the contractual documents between the DOT and each applicant.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is required. An environmental impact statement is required for this listing. An environmental impact assessment is required for this listing. For more information, please visit the RRIF website at https://buildamerica.dot.gov/financing/rrif/railroad-rehabilitation-improvement-financing-rrif.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. DOT reviews Letters of Interest for RRIF credit assistance on a "first come, first served" basis. Projects are reviewed to ensure they meet the eligibility requirements under all applicable regulations and statutes, as well as for financial feasibility. Upon receiving notification that the project meets the basic eligibility criteria, the USDOT will invite a project sponsor to an application. The application form is available on the RRIF web site at: https://buildamerica.dot.gov/buildamerica/financing/tifia/applications.
Award Procedure
USDOT will evaluate application and advise applicant of approval or disapproval. Final approved is reserved by the Secretary of Transportation.
Not applicable.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
From 60 to 90 days. After a complete application has been filed with all supporting documents, processing time is approximately 60 to 90 days. The average time to execute a RRIF credit agreement from the date of Secretarial approval is 1 to 6 months.
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
How are proposals selected?
DOT reviews Letters of Interest for RRIF credit assistance on a "first come, first served" basis. Projects are reviewed to ensure they meet the eligibility requirements under all applicable regulations and statutes, as well as for financial feasibility.
How may assistance be used?
Funds provided by direct loans or loan guarantees under the RRIF Program can be used to: (1) Acquire, improve, or rehabilitate intermodal or rail freight or passenger equipment or facilities, including track, components of track, bridges, yards, buildings and shops (2) Refinance outstanding debt incurred for purposes described above (3) Develop or establish new intermodal or railroad facilities.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Performance Reports: Build America Bureau (Bureau) staff conduct routine and scheduled monitoring of RRIF loans. Routine monitoring includes regular communication with borrowers regarding the status of projects and reviewing periodic reports that borrowers are required to submit. Scheduled monitoring is an annual scheduled activity that includes a desk review and for active projects, a site visit. Questions asked by Bureau cover the following areas: programmatic (scope, schedule, budget), compliance (agreement terms and conditions) and fraud, waste and abuse. A report is then drafted by Bureau staff.
Not applicable.
Documentary evidence required for each loan varies. However, standard loan terms require financial and project reports as well as evidence of lien perfection for collateral. All such records must be kept until five (5) years after the RRIF loan shall have been paid in full.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
As a part of the application package, the borrower provides a projected timetable for the completion of the project. The funding will be made available to reimburse the Borrower for prior payment of allowable costs incurred in connection with the project. Lending commitment available at closing, though loan disbursements are made upon borrower request based on eligible project expenditures.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
None/Not specified.
Headquarters Office
Roger Bohnert
Room W12-401
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington , DC 20590 US
Phone: 202-366-2300
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Direct Loans) FY 22$203,341,580.00; FY 23 est $200,000,000.00; FY 24 est $400,000,000.00; FY 21$908,000,000.00; FY 20$851,150,000.00; FY 19$913,949,999.00; FY 18$220,088,000.00; FY 17$0.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
There is no minimum loan amount required by statute. The largest RRIF loan to date was for $2.45 billion. The maximum RRIF loan amount is subject to overall statutory limitations on total outstanding loans in the RRIF portfolio.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
See the Build America Bureau website at https://buildamerica.dot.gov/buildamerica/financing/program-guide.
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2017 Will continue to support Safety infrastructure and refinance purchases of rolling stocks.
Fiscal Year 2018 In FY2018, the US Department of Transportation (DOT) approved a RRIF loan of $220 million to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority for its Positive Train Control Project. The Project is the implementation of positive train control technology and associated supporting infrastructure required to comply with the federally-mandated PTC requirements
Fiscal Year 2020 During FY 2020, the DOT approved a RRIF loan of up to $851,150,000 to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) for its Train Control Implementation and Rehabilitation Project (Project). The Project included Positive Train Control (PTC), Automatic Train Control (ATC), and resiliency elements for its commuter rail system.
Fiscal Year 2022 In FY2022, the DOT approved a RRIF loan of up to $203,341,581 to the Indiana Finance Authority for the West Lake Project. The loan proceeds will finance part of the construction costs of the approximately 8-mile southern single-track extension of the existing Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District’s (NICTD) South Shore Line (SSL) between the town of Dyer and the city of Hammond, Indiana. Traveling north from the southern terminus near Main Street at the Munster/Dyer municipal boundary, the Project would include new track operating at grade on a separate ROW to be acquired adjacent to the CSX Transportation railroad in Dyer and Munster and the construction of four new stations along the alignment (from south to north are Munster/Dyer Main Street, Munster Ridge Road, South Hammond, and Hammond Gateway).
Fiscal Year 2023 In FY2023, DOT’s Build America Bureau provided low-interest loans totaling $327 million to the Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority (Sound Transit). The loans financed two TIFIA projects and one RRIF project: South Sounder Access Improvements project. The $154 million loan for the RRIF South Sounder project will improve access for hundreds more people at three stations, construct new sidewalks, improve street lighting and expand existing, insufficient parking facilities for transit users without the ability to walk or bike to a station


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