FRA is urging state governments to use local funding to augment the federal level crossing safety programme.

USA: The Federal Railroad Administration has awarded $25m in grants to increase safety at level crossings across the country. A total of 23 projects in 14 states and the District of Columbia received funding. FRA received 40 eligible applications requesting a total of $67·5m, far in excess of the appropriation made available by Congress for the work.

The Railroad Safety Infrastructure Improvement Grants fund safety improvements to infrastructure, including the acquisition, improvement, or rehabilitation of intermodal facilities; improvements to track, bridges, yards, and tunnels; enhancements to level crossings and grade separation work to eliminate level crossings. Among the recipient of the level crossing improvement funding were:

• Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, California;
• Indiana Rail Road;
• Indiana Department of Transportation;
• Maryland Department of Transportation;
• The City of Buffalo, Minnesota;
• St Louis & Lake Counties Regional Railroad Authority, Minnesota;
• New York State Department of Transportation;
• Mohawk, Adirondack & Northern Railroad;
• South Carolina Department of Commerce, Division of Public Railways.

‘A safe railroad network requires continuous investment’, said FRA Administrator Sarah Feinberg. ‘These grants will improve safety at hundreds of crossings and make important safety enhancements at stations across the country.’
FRA has requested a further $520m for local rail facility and safety project grants as part of President Obama’s 2017 budget proposal.