U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao recently announced an investment of more than $291 million in grants for eleven intercity passenger rail projects in nine states through the Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair Program (Partnership Program).

Two southern California projects head the grant list:

  • San Diego Next Generation Signaling and Grade Crossing Modernization – up to $9,836,917 – North County Transit District
  • Pacific Surfliner Corridor Rehabilitation and Service Reliability – Up to $31,800,000 – Southern California Regional Rail Authority

“This $291 million in federal grants will upgrade rail infrastructure and enhance railroad safety and reliability in communities across America,” said Secretary Chao in announcing the funding.

Intercity Passenger Rail Performance

The Partnership Program improves intercity passenger rail performance by funding capital projects to repair, replace or rehabilitate publicly owned or controlled railroad assets, thereby bringing them into a state of good repair. Funding for these awards totals $291,422,706, with $198 million made available from the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020 and $93,422,706 in remaining funds made available through the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2019. 

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) published a Notice of Funding Opportunity for this award cycle on June 10, 2020. The evaluation and selection process considered several factors in choosing projects, including the project’s ability to improve service and safety and meet existing or anticipated demand.

“This Administration has invested billions in railroad infrastructure to ensure the safe movement of passengers and goods throughout our nation,” FRA Administrator Ronald L. Batory said. “These investments have proven vital during this challenging year and kept essential supplies moving throughout our nation, and these State of Good Repair grants will continue those improvements and enhance passenger rail service to ready the nation for the forthcoming recovery,”

Project descriptions are available on FRA’s website: