Capital Assistance to States - Intercity Passenger Rail Service

To provide financial assistance to fund capital improvements (and related planning activities) necessary to support improved or new intercity passenger rail service.

Related Programs20.319 High-Speed Rail Corridors and Intercity Passenger Rail Service ? Capital Assistance GrantsExamples of Funded Projects

Fiscal Year 2016: An example of a project that was completed in FY 2016 involved the design and construction of a new railroad bridge and 1.3 miles of new passenger-only track between two existing rail lines, streamlining passenger rail access to the Detroit area.

Fiscal Year 2017: An example of the project that will be completed in FY 2017 involves planning assistance intended to advance intercity passenger rail service from a conceptual phase through completion of an initial environmental analysis of the alternatives, preliminary corridor selection, and initial engineering design.

Fiscal Year 2018: 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.

Office - See Regional Agency Offices.

If necessary to contact a regional office, the contact information will be in a grant agreement.
Website Address

Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2016: Capital Assistance to States projects completed in FY 2016 include the construction of new track, bridges and signal improvements that will enable more efficient operations of freight and passenger services. Fiscal Year 2017: The completion of Environmental Impact Statements and Service Development Plans in FY 2017will further development of high-speed passenger rail service in heavily traveled corridors in the nation?s fast growing regions. Fiscal Year 2018: No Current Data Available

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.

100% of the funds are set aside for discretionary activities.

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. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Prospective applicants may contact FRA prior to submission of applications to inquire about applicant eligibility, the competitive prospects of their proposed project, the National Environmental Policy Act and related legal requirements, and other requirements.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


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

2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards 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 NOFO. 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 110-161.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

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




Not Applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program. This program has no 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. This program has MOE requirements; see funding agency for further details.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

No restriction on period of time the assistance normally is available. Assistance is awarded upon request for reimbursement. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Funding is obligated through cooperative agreements, and outlays occur as reimbursement. 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 and a final report giving details of the results and benefits of the Grantee's improvement efforts.

Please describe the cash reports required: SF-270 Request for Advance or Reimbursement.

Quarterly progress reports.

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 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503. In accordance with the provisions of 2 C.F.R. Part 200, nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 C.F.R. Part 200.


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 2 C.F.R. Part 200 for private non-profit and for-profit Grantees. Closeout does not alter these requirements.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Cooperative Agreements) FY 16 $7,189,643; FY 17 est $2,000,000; and FY 18 est $10,000,000

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

The range was between $80,875 to $7,189,643, and the average was $3,635,259.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Guidance for this program is provided by The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), and related laws, the FRA publication entitled, Railroad Corridor Transportation Plans: A Guidance Manual (available at, and Federal Register notices announcing the availability of funding pursuant to this program.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Regional Agency Offices. If necessary to contact a regional office, the contact information will be in a grant agreement.

Headquarters Office

Gina Matrassi 1200 New Jersey Ave SE., Washington, District of Columbia 20590 Phone: (202) 493-6139.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

All selection criteria will be specified in Federal Register notices announcing the availability of funding pursuant to this program, and shall include, but shall not be limited to, prioritizing criteria defined in relevant law, and criteria intended to ensure the timely completion of funding projects and the full realization of the benefits the projects are intended to generate.

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