AASHTO State Financing Programs

Short line and regional freight railroads are an integral part of the national freight transportation network, providing vital commercial shipping links for American industry, agriculture and commerce. A number of states have recognized this through the establishment of rail financing programs. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) determined that it was important to make information on these programs readily available to those who might be interested.

AASHTO and ASLRRA have collaborated on the preparation of profiles of financing programs offered by States to enhance the service and capacity of short line railroads operating in their respective states. Each profile provides information on the type of financing, the program objectives and criteria, project eligibility, eligible applicants, application procedures, and links and contacts for more information. The profiles are sorted by state and may be accessed by clicking here

Short Line Tax Credit

Extension of the short line tax credit is perhaps the centerpiece of ASLRRA's legislative work. All information on this key legislation is available here - from the text of the legislation, to co-sponsor status to examples of achievements that were made possible through past versions of the tax credit. For more information, click here.

Progressive Railroading Short Line Funding Videos 

At the 2010 ASLRRA Annual Convention in Orlando, Progressive Railroading Magazine's Jeff Stagl sat down with several railroad members to hear their views on the importance of, and recent challenges with, securing funding for short line projects on both the state and federal levels. These have been kindly posted on the Progressive Railroading website, and can be viewed by clicking here

FRA Grants and Loans

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) provides support to freight and passenger railroads through a variety of competitive grant, dedicated grant, and loan programs to develop safety improvements, relieve congestion, and encourage the expansion and upgrade of freight and passenger rail infrastructure and services. In addition, FRA also provides training and technical assistance to recipients of grants, as well as to stakeholders.

Grants primarily fall into seven categories:

  • High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR)
  • Rail Line Relocation & Improvement Capital Grant Program (RLR)
  • Railroad Rehabilitation & Repair (Disaster Assistance)
  • Railroad Safety Technology Grant Program
  • Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER)
  • Railway-Highway Crossing Hazard Elimination
  • University Grants

 Loans fall into two categories:

  • Railroad Rehabilitation & Improvement Financing Program (RRIF)
  • Transportation Innovation & Finance (TIFIA)

To view more information about each of these sources of funding, visit the FRA's Grants and Loans page by clicking here.