FRA Issues Proposed Guidelines for Rail Relocation and Improvement Grant Program

WASHINGTON — The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking detailing proposed qualifications and standards for capital grants under the rail line relocation and improvement program created in the SAFETEA-LU legislation.

In order to be eligible for a grant, a project must mitigate the adverse effects of rail traffic on safety, motor vehicle traffic flow, community quality of life or involve a lateral or vertical relocation of any portion of the rail line. Under the FRA proposal, half of all grant funds are reserved for projects costing no more than $20 million each.

A state or other eligible entity will be required to pay at least 10 percent of the shared costs of the project. Congress authorized $350 million per year for this program, but has not appropriated any funding. Public comment will be accepted until March 5, using docket number FRA 2005-23774.

— Special to News Wire