Part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Federal Railroad Administration is responsible for the safe and organized movement of people and goods across the country. As the agency points out; however, funding has not always kept pace with usage. Rail infrastructure, stations, and equipment are often in need of upgrades and repairs. Compounding this problem, freight shipments are forecasted to increase by 45 percent by 2045. In an effort to help ensure the needed renovations are made, $25 million was allocated for the FY2016 Railroad Safety Infrastructure Improvements Grant Program.
- Safety improvements to track, bridges, tunnels, rail yards, building, passenger stations, maintenance and repair shops
- Projects that improve highway-rail, at-grade crossings, grade separations, and grade closures
- Signal installation, repair, or upgrade
- On electrified rails, installation, replacement, or rehabilitation of overhead catenary
- Improvements necessary to establish a quiet zone, with projects that incorporate safety given a higher priority than stand-alone quiet zones
State and local governments, passenger and freight railroad carriers. The deadline to apply is June 14, 2016. Since the purpose of the grant is strictly safety, improvements to increase economic activity or operational efficiency do not qualify.
The 15 Most Dangerous Railroad Crossings
The Federal Railroad Administration keeps safety data on more than 200,000 railroad crossings across the country. Fatalities are down, 244 in 2015 as compared to 264 in 2014. However, there were 15 crossings that had at least 10 incidents each over the last decade. Check the list to see exactly where they are.