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US announces $1.4 billion investment for railroad upgrades 

US announces $1.4 billion investment for railroad upgrades
US announces $1.4 billion investment for railroad upgrades

The US Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has announced it has invested $1.4 billion from the president’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law into 70 rail projects. “This is the largest amount ever awarded for rail safety and supply chain upgrades through the Consolidation Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) program.” 

These upgrades will benefit many communities and enhance the supply chain across the US. 

Railroad allows for fuel-efficiency 

The US is the world’s largest grain producer. Railroads account for one-third of the country’s grain export movement. From a business perspective, the company choosing railroad over trucks is winning. “On average, railroads are three to four times more fuel-efficient than trucks. A single freight train can replace several hundred trucks”, says the Association of American Railroads.

Besides the fuel efficiency aspect, the railroad upgrades in the US will improve the ease of doing business for many companies around the country. 

Industry players weigh in on upgrades 

US Department of Transport Secretary, Pete Buttigieg says these upgrades will mean fewer delays, faster travel time, and lower shipping costs. “These projects will make American rail safer, more reliable, and more resilient, delivering tangible benefits to dozens of communities where railroads are located, and strengthening supply chains for the entire country.”

FRA’s administrator Amit Bose says the CRISI program has assisted in maintaining and modernizing the US freight rail network, adding that this is the only federal grant program placing emphasis on smaller, short line railroads vital to the nation’s economy and regional supply chains. “The selected projects will tackle issues facing communities and invest in a 21st century rail network yielding greater benefits – faster and more reliable deliveries of goods, safer communities, cleaner transportation, and more jobs and workforce development opportunities.”

Among the 70 projects is a $72.8 million investment in eastern Washington State for railway track improvements, upgrade crossings. In a Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply Link, US senator and chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Maria Cantwell says Washington State wheat will reach international export markets faster. “Railroad is a critical part of the Washington Grain Train programme, which serves over 2,500 farmers and moves tons of grain to ships at deep-water ports destined for overseas markets. The legislation has nearly tripled funding for freight rail infrastructure,” says Cantwell.

Other projects forming part of railroad upgrades 

  • Tennessee Short Line Railroads Bridge Bundle Project – $23 million investment to upgrade about 42 bridges across 10 different short line railroads
  • Foster Economic Sustainability Throughout Kentucky Project – $29.5 million investment for Paducah and Louisville railroad line
  • Cornhusker Railroad Regional Connectivity Project – $15.2 million to bring the first-ever zero exhaust emissions train to an east coast port. Three old trains will be replaced with battery electric trains

About the author

Sharl is a qualified journalist. He has over 10 years’ experience in the media industry, including positions as an editor of a magazine and Business Editor of a daily newspaper. Sharl also has experience in logistics specifically operations, where he worked with global food aid organisations distributing food into Africa. Sharl enjoys writing business stories and human interest pieces.

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