Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act – Passenger and Freight Rail

Points of Contact:

Bill Viney, Principal, State and Local Advocacy and Appropriations – bviney@bgrdc.com William Crozer, Vice President and Managing Director of State and Local Advocacy – wcrozer@bgrdc.com

Passenger and Freight Rail

Topline Funding: $66 billion (new spending)
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) provides $66 billion (B) in new funding for passenger and freight rail, a large increase from current levels. The centerpiece of the funding is $43.5B for Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail Grants. Amtrak receives increased funding in the Northeast Corridor Grant (NEC) Program and for the National Network. Provides for a host of Amtrak policy changes, including expanding mission and goals to emphasize role in providing service to rural communities and requiring greater level of spending detail in reports to Congress.

PROGRAMS & FUNDING STREAMS

FEDERAL-STATE PARTNERSHIP FOR INTERCITY PASSENGER RAIL GRANTS PROGRAM
Authorizes $43.5B across five years ($7.2B/year, FY22 – FY26) for existing program that funds competitive grants for projects to replace, repair, and/or rehabilitate qualified intercity railroad assets. Includes broader eligibility for expanding passenger service to new corridors. $24B earmarked for Northeast Corridor modernization.

Agency of Jurisdiction: Department of Transportation (DOT) – Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)

Eligible Grantees: States, groups of states, interstate compacts, public agencies, or publicly chartered authorities established by one or more states, political subdivisions of a state, and Amtrak.

Timing: Immediately (see Notice of Funding)

Federal Cost-share:
N/A

AMTRAK NATIONAL NETWORK PROGRAM
Authorizes $12.6B for the Amtrak National Network, which consists of 15 long distance routes and 28 state supported routes. Funding to for provide for updated station locations and modernization, safety investments including grade crossings, fencing, and collision-prevention technology. Up to 10% of funds may be used for corridor services.

Agency of Jurisdiction: DOT – Amtrak

Eligible Grantees: States, groups of states, interstate compacts, public agencies, political subdivisions of a state, and Amtrak.

Timing: Immediately.

Federal Cost-share: N/A

NORTHEAST CORRIDOR GRANTS TO THE NATIONAL RAILROAD PASSENGER CORPORATION PROGRAM
Authorizes $6.6B to improve rail infrastructure in the Northeast Corridor. Funds available for projects acquiring new passenger rolling stock for the replacement of single-level passenger cars used in Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor between Washington and Boston that bring Amtrak-served stations into full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act or eliminate the backlog of deferred maintenance.

Agency of Jurisdiction: DOT – Amtrak

Eligible Grantees: State and local government agencies engaged in commercial motor vehicle safety activities.

Timing: Immediately.

Federal Cost-share: N/A

CONSOLIDATED RAIL INFRASTRUCTURE AND SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS PROGRAM (CRISI)
Authorizes $5B for projects that improve the safety, efficiency, and reliability of intercity passenger and freight rail. This program leverages private, state, and local investments to support safety enhancements and general improvements to infrastructure for both intercity passenger and freight railroads. IIJA expands eligibility of funding to projects that prevent trespassing, incorporate innovative rail technologies, rehabilitate, remanufacture, procure or overhaul locomotives provided there is a reduction in emissions. Also expands eligible recipients to include the District of Columbia, federally recognized tribes, and an association representing Class II and Class II railroads.

Agency of Jurisdiction: DOT – FRA

Eligible Grantees: States, groups of states, interstate compacts, public agencies, or publicly chartered authorities established by one or more states, political subdivisions of a state, Amtrak or another rail carrier that provides intercity rail passenger transportation, the District of Columbia, federally recognized tribes, and an association representing Class II and Class III railroads.

Timing: Immediately.

Federal Cost-share: N/A

RAILROAD CROSSING ELIMINATION PROGRAM
Authorizes $3B for a competitive grant program that provides funds for the elimination of hazards at railway-highway crossings.

Agency of Jurisdiction: DOT – FRA

Eligible Grantees: States, political subdivisions of a state, federally recognized tribes, localities or a group of localities, public port authorities, and metropolitan planning organizations.

Timing: Immediately.

Federal Cost-share: N/A

INTERSTATE RAIL COMPACTS
Establishes a $3 million annual competitive grant program across five years (FY22-26) to provide federal funding for interstate rail compacts (analogous to the Southern Rail Commission). Grants will cover costs of administration, systems planning, and operations coordination. Grants to IRCs will not exceed $1 million annually and require a local funding match of at least 50 percent.

Agency of Jurisdiction: DOT – FRA

Eligible Grantees: Entities implementing interstate rail compacts.

Timing: Immediately.

Federal Cost-share: 50% local funding match required.