Directed Grant Programs
The Alaska Railroad receives no operating subsidies from the federal government; although, both FRA and the Federal Transit Administration administer capital grants that fund specific rail improvement projects as identified by Congress in annual appropriations or multi-year authorizations.
FRA is responsible for administering federal grants to Amtrak, which has led to increased FRA oversight of Amtrak spending since FY 2003.
Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI)
A national not-for-profit rail safety organization, OLI receives federal funding to support its public education efforts to reduce collisions between trains and motor vehicles at highway-rail grade crossings, and to discourage illegal trespassing along railroad rights-of-way.
This program provides funding to support the certification of state inspectors to conduct investigative and surveillance activities to ensure that the application and interpretation of federal railroad safety rules, regulations, orders, and standards reflect the same national uniformity.
These grants provide funding for freight rail capital projects in states that do not have intercity passenger rail; or, for freight or passenger rail capital projects in states that are not physically connected to the national rail system.