US Department of Transportation agency Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has awarded around $326m in funding for various railway projects in the country.

The latest funding was provided under the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) Program, as well as the Special Transportation Circumstances Program.

Overall, federal funding will be allocated among 45 railroad infrastructure projects in 29 states. Nearly $118m of the total funding was awarded to rural projects.

US Transportation Secretary Elaine L Chao said: “These investments in intercity passenger and freight rail will benefit surrounding communities, make grade crossings safer and improve service reliability.”

Authorised under Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, the CRISI Program allocates money on projects that will improve efficiency and safety of intercity passenger and freight rail systems.

FRA Administrator Ronald Batory said: “These are the partnerships that help rural and urban communities thrive economically.

“The participation of multiple partners demonstrates the importance of these funds and tells us they will be a key asset in improving safety for communities and railroads around the country.”

Among the projects, the restoration of Intercity Passenger Rail Service along the Gulf Coast received nearly $33m funding, while rehabilitation of Sierra Northern Railway’s infrastructure in California was awarded more than $17m.

Maine’s Pan Am Railways Mainline upgrades and rail crossing safety improvements received combined funding of $17m.

Around $30m was provided for improvements at Fullerton Junction Interlocking and third main track between Control Point Atwood and Control Point Esperanza in California. Illinois’ CREATE Project WA11-Dolton Junction Interlocking received up to $19.2m.

FRA also announced more than $2m in Special Transportation Circumstances grant funds to the state of Alaska.