The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced over $368 million in Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) grant program funds, including $46 million to California rail projects.
From this grant, San José State University’s Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) will receive $4.6 million to help create a multi-university consortium in order to establish a Climate Change and Extreme Events Training and Research (CCEETR) program.
MTI will partner with Colorado State University-Pueblo, Michigan State University, Oregon State University, and the University of Hawaii for this program. These universities are members of the Center for Surface Transportation Testing and Academic Research (C-STTAR) consortium working with ENSCO and the Transportation Technology Center in Pueblo, Colorado. Together, this consortium will identify risk mitigation strategies and preventative measures to improve the U.S. rail network’s resiliency.
The CCEETR program plans to work closely with railroads throughout the industry and test various technologies at the Transportation Technology Center and on revenue service track.
Climate change and the consequential impacts of sea-level rise, coastal storms, landslides, extreme temperatures, wildfires, and inland flooding pose a risk to the U.S. freight and passenger rail network. This grant enables the collaboration of C-STTAR partner universities to combat the impacts that threaten lives, destroy equipment, disrupt service, and cost billions. The program will work to preserve and protect the transportation sector and the communities they serve.