FRA Awards Amtrak Nearly $200 Million in Federal Grants

An Amtrak Acela passes through Liberty International Airport Station in Newark, New Jersey, in April 2018. (Photo by Todd DeFeo/The DeFeo Groupe)

WASHINGTON — Amtrak and partners have been awarded nearly $200 million from the Federal Railroad Administration’s Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) competitive grant program.

“The CRISI grants announced today will help launch new and expanded service, advance critical safety and reliability improvements, and provide opportunities for the workforce, marking another big milestone as we continue to advance a new era of passenger rail,” said Amtrak CEO Stephen Gardner.

This funding will support four projects in the Northeast Corridor (which travels through eight states and the District of Columbia) and the Gulf Coast states.

Gulf Coast Corridor Improvement Project (up to $178.4 million)

This project will allow Amtrak, in cooperation with the Southern Rail Commission, to begin twice-daily service next year between Mobile and New Orleans. The grant covers development, final design, and construction activities for various track and signal-related improvements, upgrades to grade crossings, and improvements to stations while maintaining freight service reliability along the Gulf Coast Corridor. A combination of funds from Amtrak, the states of Mississippi, and Louisiana, the Alabama Port Authority, CSX Transportation, and Norfolk Southern Railway will provide a 20 percent non-Federal match.

Northeast Corridor (NEC) Fencing Program (up to $8.8 million)

This grant will fund a programmatic study and survey to inform future fence installation at sites vulnerable to and at high risk for unauthorized access along the NEC. The project will help Amtrak plan for future related capital work that will increase safety for the communities that Amtrak operates in and through. Amtrak will provide a 20 percent non-Federal match.

Workforce Development Apprenticeship Training Program (up to $8.8 million)

This project will support the development of a comprehensive training and apprenticeship program for new track foremen/inspector employees to ensure proper mentorship and skills transfer, which provides opportunities for career advancement for current employees. Amtrak will provide a 20 percent non-Federal match.

Mississippi-Louisiana Grade Crossing Improvement Project (up to $1.8 million)

In partnership with Canadian National Railway and the states of Louisiana and Mississippi, Amtrak will conduct a study and prioritize grade crossings along The City of New Orleans route to be improved, among other related tasks. Amtrak will provide a 20 percent non-Federal match.

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