Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)

VT: U.S. Department of Transportation Announces $8.9 Million TIGER 2013 Grant to Vermont for Western Corridor Rail Rehabilitation

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced Sept. 5 the Vermont Agency of Transportation has been awarded an $8.9 million grant.

The project is one of 52 transportation projects in 37 states that will receive a total of approximately $474 million from DOT’s Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) 2013 discretionary grant program.

“These TIGER projects are the best argument you can make for investment in our transportation infrastructure,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

“Together, they answer President Obama’s call for a stronger transportation system for future generations by repairing existing roads and bridges, connecting people to new jobs and opportunities, and contributing to our nation’s economic growth.”

The $18.5 million project involves rehabilitating 20 miles of the state-owned Vermont Railway from Rutland, Vt., to Leicester, Vt., which includes replacing nine miles of rail, upgrading 11 at-grade farm crossings, and making other improvements. When completed, this project will eliminate track-related slow orders, allowing for unrestricted Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Class 3 speed operations of up to 40 mph. The Vermont Rail System operates over the line and provides a critical connection for shippers to the Class I network in New York.

The project also supports the state’s efforts to improve the line to allow for the future extension of Amtrak’s Ethan Allen service from Rutland to Burlington. Approximately $6 million in match funding is coming from previous federal appropriations benefiting the corridor, as well as $3.2 million from the state and $200,000 in-kind contributions from the rail operator.

This grant is one of 17 rail grants totaling $146.2 million in this round of TIGER. Since the program’s inception, there have been 48 rail grants totaling $808.6 million.

“This investment is helping to move the economy by improving track, bridges and other infrastructure, building stations and intermodal facilities, advancing higher-performing rail service, and improving safety,” said FRA Administrator Joseph C. Szabo.

The highly competitive TIGER program offers one of the only federal funding possibilities for large, multi-modal projects that often are not suitable for other federal funding sources. These federal funds leverage money from private sector partners, states, local governments, metropolitan planning organizations and transit agencies. The 2013 TIGER round alone supports $1.8 billion in overall project investments.

The projects funded through this round of TIGER illustrate the President’s goals of creating “Ladders of Opportunity” that connect people to jobs, repairing and replacing aging infrastructure with a “Fix it First” approach and contributing to America’s economic growth.