The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) awarded $25 million in grants to increase safety at railroad crossings, train stations and tracks across the country. A total of 23 projects in 14 states and the District of Columbia received funding.
FRA received 40 eligible applications requesting $67.5 million, nearly three times the $25 million that Congress provided in the 2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act that funds DOT.
“It is vitally important that we invest in safety as rail continues to play an increasingly larger role in this country, transporting tons of freight and millions of passengers each day,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “These grants will help address some of the improvements that are crucial to ensuring safe, reliable and efficient railroad networks.”
The Railroad Safety Infrastructure Improvement Grants fund safety improvements to railroad infrastructure, including the acquisition, improvement, or rehabilitation of intermodal facilities; improvements to track, bridges, rail yards, and tunnels; upgrades to railroad crossings; and the separation of railroad crossings and roads.
“A safe railroad network requires continuous investment and upgrades,” said FRA Administrator Sarah E. Feinberg. “These grants will improve safety at hundreds of railroad crossings and make important safety upgrades at stations across the country. This is an investment that is desperately needed – and I urge state DOTs to join the FRA in investing more in improving safety at crossings.”
FRA requested $520 million for competitive local rail facility and safety project grants as part of President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget proposal.
Winners from the grants included:
- NY State Department of Transportation - $1.91 million to install CCTV cameras to record grade crossing movements at 43 identified grade crossings within Metro‐North territory in New York to investigate specific incidents and analyze crossing/traffic operations for targeted modifications to improve safety. Metro‐North Railroad and Long Island Rail Road will work separately as subsidiaries of the Metropolitan Transit Authority on this project.
- Amtrak, Washington, D.C.- $2.35 million to provide a new emergency egress stairway and fire suppression system in the North Hangar and Clayton Concourse, which serve trains moving north and south out of Washington Union Station.
- Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority – $1.61 million to construct a new pedestrian underpass and two new rail bridges at SEPTA’s Lawndale Station in Philadelphia, thereby enabling passengers to access the platform without crossing the tracks at grade. The project will also include other improvements, such as a new high-level platform, new signage and fencing, new catenary and ADA-related improvements.
- Dallas Area Rapid Transit – $269,600 to provide safety improvements at 10 passenger rail stations, including safety gates to provide enhanced protection for the mobility impaired at ADA platform ramps; emergency kiosks to provide access to customer service and local law enforcement; and signage to provide concise and uniform safety messages at these stations across the Dallas project area.