Grants Available for Rail Improvements, Positive Train Control and Drone Research

Photo: courtesy of Mike Eenerio via Unsplash.

The Federal Railroad Administration has nearly $245 million available to support railway infrastructure and safety improvements including the installation of Positive Train Control and rail-related research.

The grants, which can be for any size, are being made through the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) Program. Support can also be in the form of cooperative agreements where the federal government is involved in carrying out the investment project—doing things like providing technical assistance, reviewing interim work products and increasing program oversight.

Whatever form a project takes the federal share of total costs for work funded under this effort is not to exceed 80 percent. Moreover a preference will be given to applications where the proposed federal share costs is 50 percent or less.

States, government agencies, rail companies, rail equipment manufacturers and rail-related nonprofits can apply for grants. Deployment of safety-related equipment like the installation of Positive Train Control (PTC), a technology that can use GPS, was given as an example of the sort of projects FRA would support.

The grants can also be used for a wide range of rail-related research. Universities, researchers and organizations working with the Transportation Research Board (TRB) can also submit applications. The TRB has, for example, supported studies on the use of drones for doing inspections of railroad bridges.

Grant applications are due no later than 5:00 p.m. EDT, October 18, 2019.

More information can be found by searching for document 2019-17741 at You can also search for the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number 20.325 at – This is a beta site for the new