Washington, D.C.Today the U.S. Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) officially released the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the Railroad Crossing Elimination Program, a newly created grant for crossing projects that improve the safety and mobility of people and goods. The program, with $3 billion in appropriated funding, including over $573 million for FY22, is open to state and local applicants. The NOFO is published in the federal register and applications are due no later than October 4, 2022 by 5pm ET. 

Railroads have assisted local communities for decades to improve safety at public railroad crossings, in which hundreds of millions of private, federal, state, and local dollars have been invested. Indeed, these efforts helped achieve a 46% decrease in collisions at grade crossings between 2000 and 2020.

The new Railroad Crossing Elimination Program is a vital continuation of this effort. In particular, it recognizes that the safest grade crossing is no crossing at all, and it will fund a range of projects from eliminations or separations to track relocation to the improvement or installation of protective devices. In addition to bolstering safety, the program will reduce emissions and keep freight moving while improving mobility in communities across the country.

GoRail commends the FRA’s efforts to improve safety at grade crossings and simultaneously calls on Congress to ensure the viability of this program into the future. By fully funding the Railroad Crossing Elimination Program at its authorized $5.5 billion level, Congress will help railroads and communities continue to tackle most rail safety incidents, with 95% of all rail-related deaths involving drivers at grade crossings or individuals on tracks. 

For interested communities, GoRail offers a number of resources related to the crossing grant as well as other rail funding opportunities at our Rail Grant Hub. One tool, a six-question survey, walks communities through the eligibility requirements and primary considerations for the crossing program. You can also access a recent webinar that discusses both the crossing program and more generally best practices for U.S. DOT grant applications. Keep in mind that more precise details can now be found in the NOFO.

If your community is interested in pursuing a crossing grant and would like more information, please reach out to your GoRail State Director.