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NRC Members and Friends,


On 09/12/2014, the US DOT announced the award of $552 million in TIGER VI discretionary grants to 41 construction projects and $32 million to 31 planning projects in 46 states and DC. The TIGER VI program was funded through the FY2014 transportation appropriations process. TIGER VI was more than 15x over-subscribed, with the US DOT receiving 797 applications seeking more than $9 billion in TIGER VI grant support.


For the full list of project awards, click here:


17 rail-related projects received over $131 million out of the $584 million of available funding.


Below is an overview of the rail-related projects (in alphabetical order by state):



Applicant/entity receiving award


Description of Works

Grant Amount


Alaska Railroad Corporation (AK)

Seward Marine Terminal Expansion Plan

develop a master plan for Alaska Railroad's Seward port facilities, including conceptual/preliminary design of the port and upland support facilities and future west passenger dock replacement, and a passenger traffic study, freight traffic study, transportation connectivity study, master plan, and infrastructure improvement cost estimates


Port/Freight/Intercity Passenger (Planning)

City of Jonesboro (AR)

Railroad Corridor Highway Crossing Plan

conduct an environmental review and design plans for a railroad overpass on Highway 18


Freight (Planning)

City of Phoenix (AZ)

Central Phoenix Multimodal Transportation Improvement Plan

environmental assessment and conceptual engineering, for the South Central Transit Corridor, a five-mile light rail line opening on Central Avenue between downtown Phoenix and Baseline Road


Light Rail (Planning)

Connecticut Department of Transportation (CT)

New England Central Railroad Freight Rail Project

upgrade 55 miles of weight and speed-restricted track, new rail, ties, ballast and 10 upgraded grade crossings


Freight (Construction)

District Department of Transportation (DC)

Long Bridge NEPA Documentation

study the long-term replacement of the Long Bridge over the Potomac River. The Long Bridge, which is owned by CSX, is the only direct rail connection between DC and Virginia. The bridge is used by CSX, Virginia Railway Express (VRE), and Amtrak.


Freight (Planning)

City of Sioux City (IA)

18th Street Viaduct Planning Project

planning and design work for a viaduct that will span several railroad tracks, beginning near the existing intersection of 18th and Steuben Streets and extending westerly over the Union Pacific and Canadian National/Illinois Central Railroad tracks, and replace at least 2 at-grade railroad crossings


Freight (Planning)

City of Garden City (KS)

The Southwest Chief Improvement Project

restore bolted rail between Hutchinson, Kansas and Las Animas, Colorado--over which Amtrak's Southwest Chief currently travels--to a higher standard featuring continuously welded rail, new turnouts, and panelized grade crossings


Freight/Intercity Passenger (Construction)

City of Baton Rouge, Parish of East Baton Rouge (LA)

Nicholson Corridor High Capacity Transit System Plan

plan for the reestablishment of public transportation in the form of a modern streetcar system along a 3.1-mile long, half-mile wide corridor


Streetcar (Planning)

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MA)

Ruggles Station Modernization

upgrade Ruggles Station, construct a new platform to allow for more inbound commuter trains, replacing elevators to meet accessibility standards, adding lighting and security call boxes, and providing pedestrian accessibility via tunnel


Commuter Rail (Construction)

Maine Department of Transportation and New Hampshire Department of Transportation (ME and NH)

Sarah Mildred Long Bridge Project

replace bridge which handles both highway and rail traffic, construct integrated rail-highway deck for lift span


Freight (Construction)

City of Detroit (MI)

M-1 Fixed Rail Streetcar Project

complete a 3.1 mile downtown streetcar system,  construct a vehicle storage maintenance facility and associated track, an optical fiber duct that runs along the streetcar route, and complete streets improvements


Streetcar (Construction)

Bi-State Development Agency (Metro Transit) (MO)

Central Corridor Transit Enhancement and Job Access Project

fill a 1.6 mile gap between two existing stations in St. Louis' MetroLink transit system by constructing a new light rail stop and expanding the Central West End LRT station


Light Rail (Construction)

North Carolina Department of Transportation (NC)

The Piedmont Study

conduct a multi-modal corridor study to look at ways to improve transit connections and stations along the Carolinian and Piedmont rail lines


Transit (Planning)

North Carolina Department of Transportation (NC)

The Northeast NC Rail Improvement Project

rehabilitation of portions of a 52 mile rail corridor that will allow for the operation of 286,000-pound rail cars along its length, including: the installation of approximately 17.5 miles of new rail and crossties, replacement of eight main line turnouts, rehabilitation of four highway grade crossings, and approximately 30 miles of roadbed will be surfaced


Freight (Construction)

City of Providence (RI)

Providence Streetcar Project

construct a new urban circulator streetcar system


Streetcar (Construction)

City of Chattanooga (TN)

City of Chattanooga Rail Transit Implementation Plan

evaluate Chattanooga's rail transit implementation plan and the feasibility of using an existing 21-mile freight rail facility for passenger service, and look at an implementation
strategy for a 23-mile long passenger rail system in the city


Transit (Planning)

South Dakota Department of Transportation (SD)

MRC Railroad Reconstruction

restore service to 41.6 miles of a state-owned branch rail line from Chamberlain to Presho, SD; replace obsolete 65-85 pound rail with modern 112 pound rail; repair bridges and culverts; and replace broken and damaged ties


Freight (Construction)



As the NRC has consistently stated, when rail projects are considered against other modes in a truly merit-based competition, rail does extraordinarily well. While the percentage of TIGER grant funding that is going towards rail-related projects is down from previous years, the TIGER process of merit-based mode-neutral awards is still an important improvement over the traditionally siloed process of distribution transportation funding by mode. These awards are a testament to the quality of the applications being produced by the public agencies and their rail partners, in addition to reflecting on the inherent efficiencies of rail and the excellent track record the rail construction industry is developing for delivering high quality construction projects on time and on budget.


We would like to thank the TIGER teams at USDOT and throughout the modal administrations for the good work they have done during the entire TIGER grant process, from producing the guidance to soliciting and evaluating the applications to awarding the projects.


The FY2015 appropriations process is ongoing, with the Senate having proposed $550m for a TIGER VII program and the House having proposed $100m. The NRC will continue to work with other transportation infrastructure advocacy organization and rally our members to persuade Congress to fund this deserving program at the highest feasible level. In an era of constrained financial resources, it is crucial that every public dollar invested in the transportation system be invested well, and the TIGER program has proven its merit on this front and deserves Congress' and the Administration's continued support.


Please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions by phone or by replying to this email.




Chuck Baker


National Railroad Construction & Maintenance Association (NRC)

Phone: 202.715.2920

500 New Jersey Ave NW, Suite 400

Washington, DC 20001