Railroad Safety Technology Grants

To facilitate the deployment of train control technologies, train control component technologies, processor-based technologies, electronically controlled pneumatic brakes, rail integrity inspection systems, rail integrity warning systems, switch position indicators and monitors, remote control power
switch technologies, track integrity circuit technologies, and other new or novel railroad safety technology.
Examples of Funded Projects

Fiscal Year 2016: An example of a project awarded in FY 16 includes a Wireless Communications Analysis, Security Plan, and System Specification and Implementation Plan.

Another project awarded in FY 16 will assist the North American rail industry in developing strategies for identifying and mitigating disruptions to GPS service and 220 MHz ITC radio communication service due to equipment malfunctions or malicious attacks, and to help define interoperable standards and recommended practices to support PTC message security among Class I railroads and commuter and short line railroads.

Fiscal Year 2017: An example of a project awarded in FY17 is one that will sustain uninterrupted freight rail interchanges, and rail service to eighty-eight (88) rail-served businesses in North Texas.

The Grantee will purchase equipment, and communications systems necessary to operate as a tenant railroad via trackage rights on the Burlington Northern Santé Fe, Union Pacific Railroad, Trinity Railway Express, and TexRail Railroad, where PTC is applicable.

The Project will consist of the following: 1) Procurement and installation of Locomotive on-board equipment for nine (9) locomotives; 2) Procurement and installation of 220 MHz Radios; 3) Procurement of Crew Initialization Back Office Server (CI-BOS) that will be used for on-board equipment testing; and 4) Employee Training/Certification that meets the host railroads? standards.

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 - None.

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


Selected Recipients for this Program

RecipientAmount Start DateEnd Date
Transportation, Maryland Department Of $ 642,445   2011-03-242022-12-31
Transportation, Florida Department Of $ 14,914,232   2020-05-112020-11-06
Rio Metro Regional Transit District $ 29,359,208   2019-04-122020-03-31
Utah Transit Authority (uta) $ 3,520,000   2017-09-182020-03-01
Transportation, Florida Department Of $ 1,841,153   2018-03-132020-01-24
Transportation Technology Center, Inc. $ 425,943   2016-09-012019-12-31
New Jersey Transit Corporation, The $ 10,000,000   2018-02-092019-12-01
Rio Metro Regional Transit District $ 3,600,000   2018-02-082019-11-07
Illinois Department Of Transportation $ 18,869,887   2018-04-062019-06-30
Transportation, Maryland Department Of $ 9,440,000   2018-03-072019-03-30

Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2016: In 2008, Congress mandated PTC implementation on the main lines of Class I railroads and entities providing regularly scheduled intercity or commuter rail passenger transportation over which any poisonous or toxic by inhalation hazardous materials are transported, or over which intercity or commuter rail passenger transportation is regularly provided. Since Congress extended the original PTC implementation deadline from December 31, 2015 to at least December 31, 2018, these grants will help make the nation?s rail system safer by facilitating deployment of PTC collision avoidance systems. Fiscal Year 2017: These grants will continue to facilitate the implementation of PTC that prevents certain train-to-train collisions, over-speed derailments, incursions into established work zone limits, and trains going to the wrong tracks due to improper switching. Many grant projects will help railroads achieve interoperability among the different PTC systems that railroads are deploying. Fiscal Year 2018: No Current Data Available

Uses and Use Restrictions

The Railroad Safety Technology Grants Program funds projects that enhance railroad safety by implementing a Positive Train Control (PTC) system or benefiting overall PTC implementation on freight, intercity passenger, and commuter railroads.

These projects focus on development and deployment of technologies that will lower the costs, speed implementation, increase interoperability, and improve the reliability of PTC systems.

The FRA is particularly interested in development and deployment on the following topics related to PTC: elimination of PTC communications interference; configuration management of multi-railroad PTC software and firmware deployments; and host-tenant railroad PTC interoperability/system certification.

In addition, the establishment and management of collaborative interoperability coordination groups, that may be used to resolve industry-wide PTC technical and management issues, were eligible for funding.

Examples of eligible projects include the following: ? Costs for implementation, installation, and testing of PTC systems; ? Costs for shared PTC infrastructure (e.g., back office systems, CAD systems); and ? Costs to advance PTC interoperability, such as pilot programs, standardization committees, development of standard processes, and spectrum acquisition, sharing, and desensitization.

Grant funds may not be used for lobbying or in direct support of litigation.

100 percent of the funds are discretionary grants.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

There is no additional information.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Passenger and freight railroad carriers; Railroad suppliers; and State and local governments for projects that have a public benefit of improved safety and network efficiency. To be eligible for assistance, the above entities subject to 49 U.S.C. 20157(a) must have submitted a revised Positive Train Control Implementation Plan (PTCIP) to FRA as required by 49 U.S.C. 20157(a). FRA considers the development and submission of a revised PTCIP under 49 U.S.C. 20157(a) to meet the eligibility requirement related to submitting a plan required under 49 U.S.C. 20156(e)(2) containing an analysis of the impact, feasibility, costs and benefits of implementing PTC system technology. FRA believes that any submission connected to sec. 20156(e)(2), which has yet to be incorporated into a Federal regulation, would merely be duplicative of what a railroad analyzed when it developed and submitted a revised PTCIP. Thus, FRA considers the submission of a revised PTCIP to meet the eligibility requirements in 49 U.S.C. 20158(b)(3) for purposes of this NOFO. If an applicant is not required to comply with either sec. 20157(a) or sec. 20156(e)(2), the applicant must demonstrate that to FRA's satisfaction in its NOFO application Individuals are not eligible for these awards.


U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Railroad Administration Assurances and Certification forms https://www.fra.dot.gov/eLib/Details/L05284 Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, and Other Responsibility Matters-Primary Covered Transactions, , Certification Regarding Drug-Free Workplace Requirements, Certification Regarding Lobbying, Assurances-Non-Construction Programs, SF 424E, Certificate of Indirect Costs, Assurances - Construction Programs SF-424D. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Preapplication coordination is not applicable.

Environmental impact information is not 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 have been submitted and are complete and signed by the appropriate person. Review the 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. 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.


Section 105 of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 as modified by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016, Division L, Title I (Public Law 114-113 (December 18, 2015) , Public Law 114-113, 49 U.S.C 20158.

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 Formula: Title 49, Part 20158. Matching Requirements: Percent: 80%. Federal funds for any eligible project shall not exceed 80 percent of the total cost of such project FRA cannot consider any other Federal funds, nor any non-Federal funds already expended (or otherwise encumbered), towards the matching requirement. Additionally, FRA is limiting the method for calculating the non-Federal match to cash contributions only ??in-kind?? contributions will not be accepted. Matching funds provided in excess of the minimum requirement will be considered in evaluating the merit of an application. This program does not have MOE requirements.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

No restriction on period of time the assistance normally is available. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: FRA will award grants for the full federal amount, however, recipients shall receive funds on a reimbursable basis. 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.


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

69-0702-0-1-401; 69-0700-0-1-401.


(Project Grants) FY 16 $1,275,000; FY 17 est $26,275,000; and FY 18 est $0 - No funds requested in FY 2016, this is an eligible activity in the National High-Performance Rail System request. These funds cannot be used for salaries and benefits.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

The range was between 15,000.00 to 1,015,000, and the average was 318,598 in FY 2016.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

The Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-432) and associated regulations.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

None. If necessary to contact a regional office, the contact information will be in a grant agreement.

Headquarters Office

Dr. Mark W. Hartong, PE Office of Railroad Safety, Federal Railroad Administration, Mail Stop 25, 1200 New Jersey Ave SE. , Washington, District of Columbia 20590 Email: mark.hartong@dot.gov Phone: (202) 493-1332.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Evaluation criteria included: ? PTC Deployment Benefits ? Technical Merit ? Project Development approach The following selection criteria ensured that the projects selected for funding advance FRA?s current mission and key priorities: 1) Alignment with the DOT Strategic Goals and Priorities 2) Project Delivery Performance 3) Region/Location 4) Innovation/Resource Development.

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