Affectionately known as CRISI, the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvement Grants Program was created by the FAST Act. This program will receive funding for the first time under the 2017 federal appropriations bill.
CRISI grants are designed to assist financing the cost of improving passenger and freight rail systems in order to achieve safety, efficiency, and reliability benefits. Eligible recipients include states, public agencies or authorities, intercity passenger railroads including Amtrak, Class II or II railroads, and rail suppliers in partnership with any of the previously mentioned entities. TRB, University Transportation Centers, and rail labor groups can also apply.
A wide range of rail capital projects will be eligible, including positive train control and rail integrity inspection system investments, at-grade crossing improvements, rail line relocations, and corridor service development planning and environmental analyses.
$68 million will be available this fiscal year. The minimum non-federal funding match is 20% but preference will be given to projects offering at least 50%. Projects should demonstrate a net positive cost-benefit analysis. Twenty-five percent of funds must be set-aside for projects in rural areas.