FRA Loans to Spur Upgrades at Biggest Commuter Railroads

"PTC is the backbone of the next generation of rail safety, and we are committed to its full deployment and implementation," said Acting Federal Railroad Administrator Sarah Feinberg. "There are 166 million rides taken on LIRR and Metro-North annually. Installing PTC will further ensure the safety of employees and passengers alike."

The Federal Railroad Administration announced that it has issued a $967.1 million loan to finance safety upgrades at the two largest commuter railroads in the United States, extending the loan to New York City's Metropolitan Transportation Authority in order to facilitate the deployment of Positive Train Control on both the Metro-North Railroad and the Long Island Rail Road. It is the largest Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) loan in FRA's history.

"This loan will help prevent derailments and ensure the safety of the riding public," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "Continuous investment in rail technology and infrastructure will enable us to meet the growing demand for rail while saving lives."

The RRIF program provides direct federal loans and loan guarantees to finance the acquisition and development of railroad and intermodal facilities and equipment. FRA gives priority to projects that provide public benefits, including benefits to public safety, the environment, and economic development.

MTA will integrate Positive Train Control with existing safety controls that LIRR and Metro-North currently have in place and have used for decades. "PTC is the backbone of the next generation of rail safety, and we are committed to its full deployment and implementation," said Acting Federal Railroad Administrator Sarah Feinberg. "There are 166 million rides taken on LIRR and Metro-North annually. Installing PTC will further ensure the safety of employees and passengers alike."

To date, FRA has given out 34 RRIF loans totaling nearly $2.7 billion.

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    September 2020

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