The US Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has issued a notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) for more than $318m in available Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvement (CRISI) grants.

The funds will be granted to projects that improve intercity passenger and freight rail transportation safety, efficiency and reliability.

Projects eligible for these grants include the installation of non-positive train control (PTC) railroad safety technology, capital projects, rail line improvement projects, and deployment of rail integrity inspection systems.

The latest funds exceed the $250m capital, which were offered under a separate NOFO published in May.

“These CRISI grants will help make rail systems safer and more efficient for local communities throughout the country.”

US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said: “The NOFO for the CRISI grant programme seeks to collaborate with private, state and local investments to boost much-needed rail projects across the country, and we hope interested parties will apply by the stated deadline.”

At least 25% of available funding will go toward capital projects aimed at upgrading rural rail infrastructure.

The FRA said that the projects will be given preference during selection, which will be able to secure a 50% non-federal funding match from any combination of private, state or local funds.

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The US Department of Transport said that while selecting any project for capital assistance it will also consider how well the project aligns with its objectives of supporting economic vitality; leveraging federal funding and preparing for life-cycle costs.

FRA administrator Ronald Batory said: “These CRISI grants will help make rail systems safer and more efficient for local communities throughout the country.”

The FRA will organise webinars on 8 August to aid eligible entities seeking funding. Interested projects can be registered on the FRA website and submit their application on or before 17 September.