March 13, 2020 - TRA Newswire -

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has announced that U.S. railroads will receive $248 million in grant funds for safety and infrastructure projects with four of those projects in Texas receiving $5.6 million. The grant funds under the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) Program will fund 32 projects in 27 states under the supervision of the Federal Railroad Administration.

Texas rail projects will benefit improvements in Dayton, Moore County in the Panhandle, Harwood south of Austin and in Houston.

The CRISI grants are part of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act which will be up for a five year reauthorization this year in Congress. CRISI grants are designed to improve the safety, efficiency and reliability of intercity passenger and freight rail systems. Rural projects have received about half of the CRISI funds and 15 of them are in Opportunity Zones which were created to spur development in economically challenged communities..

Chao said that “this $248.5 million federal investment will upgrade rail infrastructure and enhance safety on the tracks and at railroad crossings in rural and urban communities across America.” FRA Administrator Ron Batory  indicated that “the grants support the economic vitality of our nation’s rural and urban communities all around the country.”

Here are the Texas CRISI projects:

Texas – Dayton Rail Crossings Improvement Project
Up to $700,000
City of Dayton, Texas
Provides for preliminary engineering and environmental analysis and documentation necessary to improve four at-grade crossings on Union Pacific track within the city of Dayton, Texas. This work will evaluate the potential for a grade separation in an area where 16 Union Pacific trains operate daily.

Texas – The Etter Interchange Improvement
Up to $4,086,700
Texas Northwestern Railway Company
Combines two adjacent, undersized four-track yards within the Fisher Yard Complex in Moore County, Texas (located approximately an hour north of Amarillo in Northwest Texas), into a single yard capable of handling longer train consists between Texas Northwestern Railway Company (TXNW) and BNSF Railway. The project will install track capable of handling 286K rail cars and enable efficient interchange between the two railroads.

Texas – Harwood Interchange Improvement
Up to $223,768
Texas, Gonzales, and Northern Railway
Improves roughly 9,000 feet of track at the Texas, Gonzales, and Northern Railway (TXGN) interchange point with Union Pacific at Harwood, approximately 55 miles south of Austin. The project will also build a new siding parallel to the TXGN’s mainline running south from the interchange along with associated switch improvements and replace two small wood trestle bridges with concrete culverts.


Texas – The Griggs Road and Mykawa Road Rail Safety Improvements Project
(Opportunity Zone)
Up to $666,000
Greater Southeast Management District
Provides alternatives analysis, preliminary engineering and federal environmental analysis, and documentation to grade-separate four current at-grade highway-rail crossings at the intersection of Griggs Road, Mykawa Road, and Long Drive with Union Pacific Railroad and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway in Houston, Texas.