High-Speed Rail Corridors and Intercity Passenger Rail Service - Capital Assistance Grants

To assist in financing the capital costs of facilities, infrastructure, and equipment necessary to provide or improve high-speed rail and intercity passenger rail service.

Funds are made available pursuant to three authorized programs: Intercity Passenger Rail Service Corridor Capital Assistance,
Congestion Grants; and High-Speed Rail Corridor Development.
Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

Fiscal Year 2012: Funded projects are intended to: 1.

Build new high-speed rail corridors that xpand and fundamentally improve passenger transportation in the geographic regions they serve; 2.

Upgrade existing intercity passenger rail corridors to improve reliability, speed, and frequency of existing services; and 3.

Lay the groundwork for future high-speed rail services through corridor and state planning efforts.

Examples of currently funded projects include: Illinois: nearly 1,000 people are at work improving the Chicago-St.

Louis corridor, which initiated 110 mile-per-hour service in November 2012; North Carolina: Upgrades to Cary Depot Station, High Point Station, Burlington Station, Raleigh Capital Yard, and station security are complete on the Charlotte-Raleigh corridor, and construction is ongoing on grade separation, passing siding, and canopy work.

California: Work is ongoing at Transbay Transit Center to build the platforms, concourse, and tracks for the intercity rail portion of this modern multimodal transit hub in downtown San Francisco.

Oregon and Washington: Construction is complete in Tacoma and at Portland s Union Station, and construction is ongoing along the Pacific Northwest Corridor to add daily round trips, reduce travel time, and improve on-time performance between Seattle and Portland.

Connecticut: Initial construction work, including signal and fiber optic cable installation, is underway on the New Haven-Springfield Corridor, which will see round-trips triple upon project completion.

Michigan: Construction of a new station and platform in Dearborn is underway, and the purchase and ownership transfer of 135 miles of rail line between Kalamazoo and Dearborn has been completed, clearing the way for the rehabilitation of track and signal systems to begin.

Fiscal Year 2013: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2014: No Current Data Available

Agency - Department of Transportation

The Department of Transportation's mission is to ensure fast, safe, efficient, accessible and convenient transportation that meets vital national interests and enhances the quality of life of the American people, today and into the future.

Website Address


Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2012: Project sponsors in 16 States have substantially completed 26 High Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail projects, including 13 construction projects to upgrade stations, improve operational efficiency, and enhance services and passenger experience. As a result, passenger rail service has been extended to Freeport and Brunswick, Maine, and track, signal, and bridge improvements are now in-service on Amtrak s Vermonter. Fiscal Year 2013: In total, 40 construction projects for over $1.9 billion are underway or complete (13 complete) in 17 states, and an additional 15 construction projects for approximately $1.9 billion in 1 more state and the District of Columbia are expected to be underway during calendar 2013. Approximately 76% of obligated construction projects and nearly 40% of obligated construction funding are expected to be underway or complete by the end of the fiscal year. Fiscal Year 2014: The FY2014 National High Performance Rail System (NHPRS) investment ($6.4 billion proposed), building upon previously appropriated funds, will result in: development of new passenger rail corridors, procurement of at least 100 locomotives and 400 rail cars, funding of 30 state rail plans and corridor service development plans to build a future rail investment pipeline, reduction in the infrastructure maintenance backlog on the Northeast Corridor, advancement of positive train control needs on Amtrak routes and commuter rail systems, and initiation of upgrades, expansions, and construction of new freight intermodal corridors, facilities, and connections.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Assistance can be used to develop projects, programs and planning.

This includes Projects which will result in the creation of new or substantially improved High-Speed Rail/Intercity Passenger Rail service, and will provide tangible and measurable benefits, such as on-time performance improvements, travel-time reductions and higher service frequencies resulting in increased ridership.

Final Design, the last phase of project development, includes right-of-way acquisition, utility relocation, the preparation of final design plans, construction management plans, system safety plans for construction management and operations, safety certification, any required collision hazard analysis, final construction cost estimates and detail specifications, as well as procurement of construction services and equipment.

Funds may not be used to funding operating expenses, or for commuter rail passenger transportation.

All funds are discretionary.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Profit organization, Other private institutions/organizations, State & Transportation.

Beneficiary Eligibility

The general public, both users and non-users of intercity passenger rail service. State departments of transportation and other public agencies, although private transportation companies may participate through contractual arrangements with a State department of transportation.


Department of Transportation, Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Assurances and Certification forms including: (1) Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, and Other Responsibility Matters Primary Covered Transactions; (2) Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, Ineligibility and Voluntary Exclusion Lower Tier Covered Transactions; (3) Certification Regarding Drug-Free Workplace Requirements; (4) Certification Regarding Lobbying, (5) Assurances Non- Construction Programs - SF 424B; and (6) Certificate of Indirect Costs Assurances. Other documents may be required as pre-requisites to funding based on program type. Documentation demonstrating applicant eligibility (for applicants other than States); National Environmental Policy Act documentation for construction projects and service development programs; program-specific Assurances and Certifications; planning and engineering documentation. Also see Application Procedure. OMB Circular No. A-87 applies to this program.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

This program requires submission of environmental impact information based on the project type.

An environmental impact statement is required for this program.

An environmental impact assessment is required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

OMB Circular No. A-102 applies to this program. OMB Circular No. A-110 applies to this program. An initial review of the applicant, project application and eligibility. The application is then reviewed and rated against the key criteria set forth in the NOFA. Funds are awarded after review and approval the required pre-requisite documentation.

Award Procedures

Review the application package to ensure that all required documents are complete and signed by the appropriate person. Review the statement of work (SOW) and budget to ensure the appropriation language requirements are met. Review SOW for technical issues and budget for appropriate costs, including compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act and related laws and orders. Compare applications to determine relative satisfaction of published selection criteria. Select the applicants that are most qualified. After the application package is acceptable to both parties, a grant agreement is drafted, reviewed, and signed upon agreement by both parties.


Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.


The Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 (PRIIA) , Public Law 111-5.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

FRA is committed to responding to applicants in a reasonable and timely manner. Response times will very based on size, scope, complexity and volume of applications.


Not Applicable.


Not Applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program.
Matching Requirements: Match requirements depend on the legislative authority, project type, and the terms of the specific NGA.
This program has MOE requirements, see funding agency for further details.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Funding appropriated under ARRA must be awarded to grantees by September 30, 2012, and must be expended by September 30, 2017. Funding appropriated under PRIIA must be obligated or expended within 2 years after the date on which the State received the grant. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Funding is obligated through cooperative agreements, and outlays occur as reimbursement. For complex corridor development programs, FRA will issue a Letter of Intent (LOI) that represents a contingent financial commitment to a State s corridor program. A LOI does not represent an obligation or disbursement of funds. Funding will only be obligated and disbursed as milestones are achieved.

Post Assistance Requirements


The grantee shall submit the following reports: Quarterly progress reports giving an account of significant progress (findings, events, trends, etc.) made during the reporting period, and a description of any technical and/or cost problems encountered or anticipated that will affect completion of the grant.

Quarterly financial status reports SF-425, Federal Cash Transaction Report.

Final report giving details of the results and benefits of the Grantee"s improvement efforts.

No cash reports are required.

The grantee shall submit the following reports: Quarterly progress reports giving an account of significant progress (findings, events, trends, etc.) made during the reporting period, and a description of any technical and/or cost problems encountered or anticipated that will affect completion of the grant.

In addition, grants funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act must file quarterly 1512 reports with OMB detailing the progress made on their projects and the number of jobs created and/or retained.

Quarterly financial status reports using SF 425, Financial Status Report.

Grant recipients will be monitored periodically by FRA to ensure that the project goals, objectives, performance requirements, timelines, milestones, budgets, and other related program criteria are being met.

Monitoring may include on site visits or detailed, interactive desk reviews.

In addition, grantees are provided with intensive technical assistance from grants staff on a daily basis.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133. These audits are due to the cognizant Federal agency, submitted through the Federal Audit Clearinghouse, not later than 9 months after the end of the grantees fiscal year.


During the course of its activities under a grant agreement and for three years thereafter, the applicant must agree to retain intact and to provide any data, documents, reports, records, contracts, and supporting materials relating to its performance under the agreement as FRA may require. Reporting and record-keeping requirements are set forth in 49 C.F.R. Part 19 for private non-profit and for-profit Grantees. Closeout does not alter these requirements.

Financial Information

Account Identification

69-0719-0-1-401; 69-0718-0-1-401.


(Salaries) FY 12 $1,959,690,193; FY 13 est $97,667,000; and FY 14 est $5,008,000

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

No financial assistance yet awarded. Approximately 44 million per grant obligation.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Interim program guidance is provided within Notices of Funding Availability. Additional information is available as needed on the FRA website and from FRA grants management staff.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office


Headquarters Office

Gina Matarassi 1200 New Jersey Ave, S.E., Washington, District of Columbia 20590 Phone: (202) 493-6139 Fax: (202) 493-6381.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Applications will be individually evaluated against the following criteria, listed in order of priority: 1) achieving transportation solutions in a cost effective manner; 2) achieving public benefits in a cost effective manner; 3) sustainability of transportation and other public benefits; 4) management and minimization of project delivery risk; and 5) timeliness of project commencement and completion. Selection of applications for award will also take into account the following selection criteria: 1) regional balance necessary to create a nationwide high-speed rail and intercity passenger rail network and address urban and non-urban mobility needs; 2) balance and diversity of cost effective technological approaches to improving HSR and IPR service; 3). organizing multi-State partnerships and encouraging community involvement where appropriate; and 4) previous HSIPR Program grants and previous State investments in high-speed intercity passenger rail.

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