The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) has made nearly $2.3bn available to expand and upgrade intercity passenger railway network across the country.

The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) issued by the Department is for the Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail Grant Program.

This programme is administered by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).

It has earlier supported enhancement work for structures, grade crossings and track.

The programme will now enable eligible entities to expand and set up new intercity passenger and high-speed rail services, besides boosting the safety and performance of intercity passenger rail services. 

It will also support planning elements, such as environmental review and final design.

Earlier funding under the programme have supported North Carolina’s Piedmont Corridor, and the Kalamazoo to Dearborn rail corridor in Michigan, among other rehabilitation projects.

New grants are aimed at cutting down delays and helping raise service frequency.

FRA administrator Amit Bose said: “This Partnership Program NOFO offers exciting opportunities to expand federal support for intercity passenger and high-speed rail services to all parts of our nation.

“FRA will work closely with states and stakeholders to provide sustained and dedicated investments in this vital mode of transportation, and together, we will reshape America’s passenger rail network for generations to come.”

US transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg termed the move as ‘one of the two most significant investments in the past 50 years’ to modernise the country’s passenger rail network.

In September this year, USDOT’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) earmarked $59m to make highway-railway crossings safer in Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, and California.