US: Federal Railroad Administration Reveals Recipients of PTC Funding

Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), Texas, US, © Jeffrey Beall (licence)

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has awarded grant funding to 28 projects in 15 states in the USA to assist with the installation of positive train control (PTC) systems.

The total value of the grants awarded by the agency is $203,698,298. The funds were allocated from $250 million transferred to the FRA under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 for the implementation of PTC systems, via the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) programme.

The Notice Of Funding Opportunities (NOFO) was announced in May 2018 and applications for funding were due on 2 July 2018. The deadline for the installation of PTC systems on Class 1, intercity and commuter railways across the United States is 31 December 2018 unless an operator meets the criteria for an extension until 31 December 2020.

The FRA will issue an additional NOFO in the near future to distribute the remaining $46,301,702 reserved for this initiative.

Ronald L. Batory, Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration, said:

“It was our goal to award today’s grants as quickly as possible to help the recipients implement PTC. We also encourage eligible applicants to apply for the remaining balance of the PTC CRISI grants after that NOFO is published.”

Elaine L. Chao, Secretary of Transportation in the US Government, said:

“These $200 million in grants will help the railroads continue to implement positive train control, a technology that could help reduce accidents and save lives.”

The aspects of PTC supported by the grant funding include the installation of back office PTC systems, wayside, communications, and on-board PTC system equipment, PTC systems testing, interoperability and employee training.

Positive Train Control Funding Under CRISI

The PTC grants were funded by the CRISI programme. The maximum federal funding available from the programme for any single project is 80% of the total cost. The remaining 20% can be obtained from public and/or private sources. It reserves at least 25% of its funds for rural projects.

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