The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) recently awarded over $200 million in grants to help finance the development of positive train control (PTC) systems in 15 states (FRA Awards More Than $200 Million for PTC Implementation). The FRA allocated $203 million to 28 different projects through the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) program out of the $250 million authorized under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018.
A Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) was issued in May 2018, and applications from the railroads were due July 2. “These $200 million in grants will help the railroads continue to implement positive train control, a technology that could help reduce accidents and save lives,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao said.
The FRA is expected to soon release a second NOFO soliciting applications for the remainder of the $250 million allotted for PTC projects. “It was our goal to award today’s grants as quickly as possible to help the recipients implement PTC,” FRA Administrator Ronald L. Batory said. “We also encourage eligible applicants to apply for the remaining balance of the PTC CRISI grants after that NOFO is published.”
The funds are designed to be used to implement a number of PTC system features for passenger or commuter rail transportation, including:
- Back-office PTC systems
- onboard PTC system equipment
- personnel training
- PTC system testing
In determining which applicants were deserving of the PTC grants, the FRA considered the following factors:
- economic vitality
- ability to leverage federal funding
- innovative methods for improving safety
- accountability for specific, measurable outcomes.
- net benefits of the grant funds
Positive train control systems improve safety and save lives, but the railroad industry has resisted their implementation in their never-ending quest for maximum profits. These grants are an excellent effort by the FRA to protect the American public, but it’s long past time to force the railroads to pay for these improvements themselves.
If you have been injured in a railroad accident, it is vital that you hire an experienced attorney. Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.