Restoration and Enhancement


To provide operating assistance grants for the purpose of initiating, restoring, or enhancing intercity rail passenger transportation.

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 2017 One application was received requesting FY 17 funds and it is anticipated that one award will be made.
Fiscal Year 2020 It is anticipated that the FY 2018 and 2019 notice of funding opportunity will be published, and selections will be announced.
Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, Public Law 114-94 (2015), 49 U.S.C. 22908
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Interstate, State (includes District of Columbia), Local, Profit organization, State (1) a State, including the District of Columbia; (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) Any rail carrier in partnership with at least 1 of the entities described in (1) through (5); and (8) any combination of the entities described in paragraphs (1) through (7).
Beneficiary Eligibility
Interstate, State Profit organization, State, Local, Public nonprofit institution/organization (1) a State, including the District of Columbia; (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) Any rail carrier in partnership with at least 1 of the entities described in paragraphs (1) through (5); and (8) any combination of the entities described in (1) through (7).
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 a Project Narrative, Statement of Work, SF424 - Application for Federal Assistance, SF 424A - Budget Information for Non-Construction, SF 424B - Assurances for Non-Construction, FRA's Additional Assurances and Certifications, and SF LLL - Disclosure of Lobbying Activities. Additionally, an applicant for a grant shall submit: (1) A capital and mobilization plan that-(A) describes any capital investments, service planning actions (such as environmental reviews), and mobilization actions (such as qualification of train crews) required for initiation of intercity rail passenger transportation; and (B) includes the timeline for undertaking and completing each of the investments and actions referred to in (A); (2) an operating plan that describes the planned operation of the service, including-(A) the identity and qualifications of the train operator; (B) the identity and qualifications of any other service providers; (C) service frequency; (D) the planned routes and schedules; (E) the station facilities that will be utilized; (F) projected ridership, revenues, and costs; (G) descriptions of how the projections under subparagraph (F) were developed; (H) the equipment that will be utilized, how such equipment will be acquired or refurbished, and where such equipment will be maintained; and (I) a plan for ensuring safe operations and compliance with applicable safety regulations; (3) a funding plan that- (A) describes the funding of initial capital costs and operating costs for the first 3 years of operation; (B) includes a commitment by the applicant to provide the funds described in subparagraph (A) to the extent not covered by Federal grants and revenues; and (C) describes the funding of operating costs and capital costs, to the extent necessary, after the first 3 years of operation; and (4) a description of the status of negotiations and agreements with- (A) each of the railroads or regional transportation authorities whose tracks or facilities would be utilized by the service; (B) the anticipated railroad carrier, if such entity is not part of the applicant group; and (C) any other service providers or entities expected to provide services or facilities that will be used by the service, including any required access to Amtrak systems, stations, and facilities if Amtrak is not part of the applicant group.
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.
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.
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
How are proposals selected?
Applications proceed through a three-part application review process, as follows: o Screening applications for completeness and eligibility; o Evaluating the technical merit and benefits of eligible applications; and o Selecting projects for funding In awarding grants, priority to applications will be- (1) for which planning, design, any environmental reviews, negotiation of agreements, acquisition of equipment, construction, and other actions necessary for initiation of service have been completed or nearly completed; (2) that would restore service over routes formerly operated by Amtrak, including routes described in section 11304 of the Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act of 2015; (3) that would provide daily or daytime service over routes where such service did not previously exist; (4) that include funding (including funding from railroads), or other significant participation by State, local, and regional governmental and private entities; (5) that include a funding plan that demonstrates the intercity rail passenger service will be financially sustainable beyond the 3-year grant period; (6) that would provide service to regions and communities that are underserved or not served by other intercity public transportation; (7) that would foster economic development, particularly in rural communities and for disadvantaged populations; (8) that would provide other non-transportation benefits; and (9) that would enhance connectivity and geographic coverage of the existing national network of intercity rail passenger service.
How may assistance be used?
Operating assistance for the purpose of initiating, restoring, or enhancing intercity rail passenger transportation.
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. Each applicant selected for funding must collect information and report on the project's performance using measures mutually agreed upon by FRA and the grantee to assess progress in achieving strategic goals and objectives.
Not applicable.
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 R&E funding for Special Transportation Circumstances Grants.

Matching is voluntary. 20% year 1, 40% year 2, 60% year 3 Grants may not exceed— (A) 80 percent of the projected net operating costs for the first year of service; (B) 60 percent of the projected net operating costs for the second year of service; and (C) 40 percent of the projected net operating costs for the third year of service.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Not more than 6 of the operating assistance grants awarded may be simultaneously active. Federal operating assistance grants authorized for any individual intercity rail passenger transportation route may not provide funding for more than 3 years and may not be renewed. Funding is obligated through cooperative agreements or grants, and outlays occur as reimbursement. Funding will only be obligated and disbursed as milestones are achieved. Funding is obligated through cooperative agreements, 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
Phone: (202) 493-6441
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Project Grants) FY 18$0.00; FY 19 est $86,501.00; FY 20 est $24,663,500.00; FY 17$0.00; FY 16$0.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
No grants were awarded in FY 2018.
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
Examples of Funded Projects
Not applicable.


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