USDOT Announces $272M in State of Good Repair Program Grants to 10 Projects in 10 States
“This administration is committed to investing in the enhancement and safe operation of our country's passenger rail networks,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
The SOGR Program provides funding to repair, replace or rehabilitate publicly or Amtrak owned or controlled railroad equipment, infrastructure and facilities. The SOGR Program is intended to improve intercity passenger rail performance. Eligible projects include upgrading infrastructure such as track, switches, bridges and highway-rail grade crossings; stations; and equipment, including passenger cars.
In the Fiscal Years 2017 and 2018 SOGR Program Notice of Funding Opportunity, the FRA mandated a minimum 20 percent non-Federal match requirement. The selected projects went above and beyond this requirement. The department and the FRA consistently work to balance investments and encourage collaborative partnerships between Federal and non-Federal entities to fund rail projects and maximize the returns to benefit local communities. FRA and the grant recipients are leveraging more than $190 million in non-Federal funds with these selections.
The Fiscal Years 2017 and 2018 SOGR Program awards in Western Builder’s area are as follows:
Wisconsin – Next Generation Single-Level Coach and Cab-Coach Equipment Acquisition Project, Up to $25,716,900
The proposed project by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation will replace deteriorated, outdated passenger cab-baggage and coach cars used in the Chicago–Milwaukee Amtrak Hiawatha Service with three single-level cab-coach cars and six single-level coach cars. The new equipment will adhere to the Next Generation fleet standards promulgated by the Next Generation Equipment Committee. The Hiawatha service is Amtrak’s ninth-busiest route, and its busiest route in the Midwest, serving almost 850,000 passengers annually. Replacement of the cab-baggage cars with cab-coach cars will increase seating capacity, reduce fuel consumption, increase equipment reliability, reduce crowding and improve accessibility for passengers with disabilities.