The funding, which is made available through the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (Fast) Act, will provide operating assistance for staffing, fuel, electricity, station expenses, rolling stock lease payments, routine planned maintenance, host railway access costs, train yard operation and administrative costs.

States, cities and other government entities can apply for grants, as well as Amtrak and other inter-city passenger rail operators. The FRA is required to prioritise several application types, including those supporting projects that foster economic development, expand transport options in underserved communities, and restore former Amtrak routes.

“We’re encouraging applicants to leverage federal Restoration and Enhancement grants to support large-scale, inter-city passenger rail improvements,” says Mr Ronald Batory, FRA administrator.