WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has selected 50 projects in 29 states to receive $320.6 million in competitive grant funding under the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) Program. This includes $13,887,878 for six projects in Ohio. The projects selected include a wide variety of railroad investments that improve the safety, efficiency, and reliability of freight and intercity passenger service.

“This $320.6 million federal investment will upgrade U.S. rail infrastructure and enhance rail safety in communities across America,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

Nine of the projects were selected to specifically address safety at highway-rail grade crossings and deter illegal trespassing, which is the leading cause of rail-related deaths in America. Other projects expand, upgrade, or rehabilitate railroad track, switches, yard, and station facilities to increase performance and service delivery.

The following is one of six projects selected in Ohio:

Ohio – Linking Lima Project (Multiple Opportunity Zones)

Up to $4,530,546

Ohio Rail Development Commission

Rehabilitates the Chicago, Ft. Wayne & Eastern Railroad (CFE) between Lima and Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Installs new ballast and ties, converts approximately 10.8 track miles from jointed rail to CWR, replaces seven turnouts, rehabilitates one turnout, and reconstructs yard tracks. The improvements will increase yard speeds from 5 to 10 miles per hour in the Lima Yard and from 10 to 40 miles per hour on the mainline track, and allow for increased freight gross tonnage for steel, agricultural, energy, and manufactured goods shipments.

“We remain committed to helping address pressing transportation capital needs, particularly in rural areas,” said FRA Administrator Ronald L. Batory. “I am pleased that so many high-quality applications were submitted for worthwhile investments by the FRA.”

The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act authorized the CRISI Program to improve the safety, efficiency, and reliability of intercity passenger and freight rail systems. Rural projects, which have a minimum 25 percent funding requirement under the CRISI Program, received over 60 percent of the funds. Of the 50 projects that were awarded grants, 32 are located in Opportunity Zones, which were created to revitalize economically distressed communities using private investments. Since 2017, this Administration has awarded over $1.2 billion through the CRISI program to improve rail infrastructure.