Twelve projects that will repair and rehabilitate passenger rail infrastructure across the U.S. have been awarded more than $302 million in grants by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) through the Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair Program. Funding was awarded to projects in two Southern California counties.

“This $302.6 million federal investment will upgrade rail infrastructure and enhance safety on the tracks and at railroad crossings in rural and urban communities across America,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

The State of Good Repair Partnership Program funds capital projects to repair, replace or rehabilitate publicly- or Amtrak-owned or -controlled railroad assets, to reduce the state of good repair backlog and improve intercity passenger rail performance. Eligible projects include upgrading infrastructure such as track, switches, bridges, passenger stations and highway-rail grade crossings; and equipment, including passenger cars.

“This funding will go a long way in addressing passenger rail capital project needs in communities around the country,” said FRA Administrator Ronald L. Batory.”

These Southern California projects were grant recipients —

San Diego County – Coastal Bluff Track Bed Stabilization and Seismic Improvements Project:  Up to $11.6 million awarded to San Diego Association of Governments and North County Transit District to rehabilitate and upgrade a section of track located on sensitive coastal bluffs in the City of Del Mar. This integral part of the 351-mile Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) rail corridor is a vital link for passenger and freight movements within San Diego County, as well as between San Diego, Los Angeles, and points farther north. The improvement project will protect against erosion that has disrupted rail service in the corridor multiple times in recent years. The work includes installing new subsurface drainage, concrete ditches, storm drains and new support piles for seismic stability and slope stabilization. The project provides safety and reliability benefits to all railroads operating over the corridor, including Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner service, North County Transit District’s Coaster service and freight carriers.

Ventura County – Four Rural Rail Bridges Rehabilitation and Scour Mitigation Project:  Up to $6.75 million awarded to Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA) to rehabilitate and perform scour mitigation on four existing bridges on the SCRRA-controlled Ventura Subdivision, used by Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner and Metrolink’s Ventura County Line. Originally built in the 1940s and 1950s, the bridges carry 30 daily trains and approximately 1.1 million annual passengers. The project includes removing existing bridge collars and footings and installing encasement to mitigate bridge pier scour issues. Bridge scour occurs when fast-moving water removes bed material (soil and sediment) surrounding a bridge’s foundation (piers and abutments), leaving behind scour holes. These holes have the potential to seriously compromise the bridge’s integrity — bridge scour is the most common cause of bridge failures. This rehabilitation and scour mitigation project provides safety, resiliency, reliability and trip time benefits for rail passengers and freight services over the corridor.

Source: Mass Transit