Overview

The IIJA dedicates up to $127 billion in investment to modernize rail and aviation infrastructure, focused in large part on improvement of inter-city passenger rail transportation renewal, the rehabilitation of existing facilities, and ensuring increased accessibility and capacity with a decreased environmental footprint.

Stinson’s transactional and litigation practice has addressed airports and seaports, highways, toll facilities, bridges, tunnels and intermodal facilities, in addition to intelligent transportation systems, rail and people mover system projects, transit systems and next generation vehicle technology, such as electric vehicle infrastructure. This experience prepares us to understand IIJA’s implications for both the rail and airport projects.

Rail Projects

The IIJA commits a total of $102 billion between Fiscal Year 2022 and 2026 to expand existing Federal Railroad Administration programs and to create new opportunities for Amtrak, safety improvements, railroad crossing elimination, inter-city passenger rail and enhancing exiting facilities.

Amtrak

In keeping with the IIJA’s stated purpose of improving the nation’s inter-city passenger rail service, the legislative package sets aside a total of $22 billion, plus an additional $19 billion in fully authorized funds for Amtrak exclusive use. These funds can be used for a variety of projects, including capital renewal projects, rehabilitation of terminals to ensure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and projects designed to initiate or upgrade inter-city rail passenger transportation. Grant funding will also be available to Amtrak to cover the cost of new passenger rolling stock and projects to eliminate obsolete assets, such as outdated reservation and ticketing systems.

Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI)

CRISI grants were established by the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act in 2017 to fund projects that improve the safety, efficiency and reliability of inter-city passenger and freight rail. Under the IIJA, CRISI funding increases to $5 billion, plus an additional $5 billion in fully authorized funds, to cover capital projects, trespasser prevention measures, safety and environmental analysis, projects designed to reduce railroad emissions and the development of emergency plans for communities through which hazardous materials are transported by rail.

These grants are available to states and their political subdivisions, interstate compacts, public agencies, federally recognized Indian Tribes and Organizations, Amtrak, Class II and III railroads and entities engaged in rail-related research.

Railroad Crossing Elimination

The IIJA dedicates $3 billion, plus an additional $2.5 billion in fully authorized funds, to projects that eliminate existing grade crossings or reduce their associated risks, including grade separation projects, closing of existing crossings, track relocation, and installation of new and improved protective devices.

Funds will be available to states and their political subdivisions, local government units, public port authorities, metropolitan planning organizations and federally recognized Indian Tribes and Organizations.

Federal-State Partnership for Inter-city Passenger Rail

In addition to the funding allocated to Amtrak, $36 billion, plus an additional $7.5 billion in fully authorized funds, has been dedicated to provide funding for projects that seek to improve inter-city passenger rail service and capacity through replacement and repair of existing infrastructure, facilities and equipment, as well as support projects to establish new inter-city passenger routes, increase train frequencies and reduce trip times.

These funds will be available to states, their political subdivisions and public agencies, and federally recognized Indian Tribes and Organizations.

Restoration and Enhancement

$250 million, plus an additional $250 million in fully authorized funds, will be available to improve service, efficiency and operations for existing inter-city passenger rail service.

This funding is open to states, their political subdivisions and public agencies, federally recognized Indian Tribes and Organizations, Amtrak and other passenger rail carriers.

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