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 2016: Examples of projects obligated in FY 16 include the planning and environmental documentation to support a future decision to fund and implement a major investment in a passenger rail corridor, as well as grade crossing and bridge improvements to improve safety and efficiency.

Fiscal Year 2017: Examples of projects planned for completion in FY 17 include planning, engineering, and environmental studies, as well as the construction of improved passenger access facilities and railroad infrastructure.

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.

Website Address


Selected Recipients for this Program

RecipientAmount Start DateEnd Date
California, Department Of Transportation $ 2,982,050   2014-06-012022-09-30
Transportation, Iowa Dept Of $ 2,191,010   2014-09-252021-06-30
Board Of Regents Of The University Of Nebraska $ 546,000   2011-07-112015-10-31
Barron, County Of $ 2,305,138   2011-08-042015-03-31
Transportation, Wisconsin Department Of $ 7,045,103   2011-07-202014-12-31
Railroad Research Foundation $ 0   2011-08-04
Sheet Metal Workers International Association Holding Company $ 300,000   2010-09-22
Operation Lifesaver, Inc. $ 1,015,000   2011-07-29
Transportation, Washington State Department Of $ 3,866,694   2011-07-12
Illinois Department Of Transportation $ 2,998,873   2011-08-02

Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2016: Three projects were obligated in FY 16 for planning and safety improvements. Fiscal Year 2017: Projects have been completed or will be completed in FY 17 that: 1. Build new high-speed rail corridors that expand 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. 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.

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 for Construction Programs ? SF 424A, (6) Assurances Non- Construction Programs ? SF 424B; and (7) 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

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

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. Evaluate 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

Congress made $8 billion available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). Congress continued to build upon the Recovery Act by making available an additional $2.1 billion through annual appropriations for FY 2009 and 2010, using the framework initially established by the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 (PRIIA), bringing the total program funding to $10.1 billion. Funding appropriated under ARRA was awarded to grantees by September 30, 2012, and be expended by September 30, 2017. Funding appropriated under PRIIA shall remain available until expended. If any amount provided as a grant is not obligated or expended within 2 years after the date on which the grantee received the grant, such sums shall be returned for other intercity passenger rail development projects at the discretion of the Secretary of Transportation. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Funds are awarded through a standardized drawdown or ?auto-pay? process for some grantees, and for others, the agency maintains the right to release funds through an invoicing method, with the ability to enforce a payment hold. 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.

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

SF-270 Request for Advance or Reimbursement.

Quarterly progress reports.

Quarterly financial status reports using SF 425, Federal Financial 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

69-0719-0-1-401; 69-8083-0-1-401; 69-0715-0-1-401.


(Project Grants) FY 16 $5,218,600; FY 17 est $52,000,000; and FY 18 est $0

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

In FY 2016, awards ranged from $2,236,550 to $2,982,050, with an average of $2,609,300.

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 Matrassi 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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