The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) today closed on a $967.1 million Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) loan with New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).
The money facilitate the deployment of Positive Train Control (PTC) on both the Metro-North Railroad (Metro North) and the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR). It is the largest RRIF loan in FRA’s history.
“This loan will help prevent derailments and ensure the safety of the riding public,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a news release. “Continuous investment in rail technology and infrastructure will enable us to meet the growing demand for rail while saving lives.”
The RRIF program provides direct federal loans and loan guarantees to finance the acquisition and development of railroad and intermodal facilities and equipment. The FRA gives priority to projects that provide public benefits, including benefits to public safety, the environment, and economic development.
The loan will help establish an additional layer of safeguards that will increase safety for LIRR and Metro-North customers, employees, and residents of the communities served by the railroads, officials said. MTA will integrate PTC with existing safety controls that the LIRR and Metro-North currently have in place and have used for decades.
“PTC is the backbone of the next generation of rail safety and we are committed to its full deployment and implementation,” said Acting Federal Railroad Administrator Sarah Feinberg. “There are 166 million rides taken on LIRR and Metro-North annually. Installing PTC will further ensure the safety of employees and passengers alike.”
To date, FRA has given out 34 RRIF loans totaling nearly $2.7 billion.