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Railroad Research and Development

Number: 20.313
Agency: Department of Transportation
Office: Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)

Program Information 

Program Number/Title (010):
20.313 Railroad Research and Development
Federal Agency (030):
Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Department of Transportation
Authorization (040):
Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008, Public Law 91-458, 49 U.S.C 10208.
Objectives (050):
To foster long-range enhancement of the Federal Railroad Administration's program of research in support of rail safety by developing cooperative research relationships between the Administration and university and industry organizations.
Types of Assistance (060):
Uses and Use Restrictions (070):
Projects must show a relationship towards advancing railroad safety and technology. Applicants must demonstrate 5 years of railroad research activity.
Eligibility Requirements (080)
Applicant Eligibility (081):
Applicants must be major academic and industry research institutions with backgrounds in the rail transportation arena. A minimum of 5 years of railroad or railroad related research experience is required.
Beneficiary Eligibility (082):
No restrictions.
Credentials/Documentation (083):
See Application Procedures section (092). OMB Circular No. A-87 applies to this program.
Application and Award Process (090)
Preapplication Coordination (091):
The FRA will announce specific pre- application coordination activities for each project area in the Federal Register. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372. Environmental impact information is not required for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
Application Procedures (092):
OMB Circular No. A-102 applies to this program. OMB Circular No. A-110 applies to this program. The applicant must submit the following information: Application for Federal Assistance SF-424; US Department of Transportation Federal Railroad Administration Assurances and Certification forms; Certification Regarding Debarment, suspension, and other Responsibility Matters - Primary Covered Transactions; Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, Ineligibility and Voluntary Exclusion - Lower Tier Covered Transactions; Certification Regarding Drug-Free Workplace Requirements; Certification Regarding Lobbying; Assurances - Non-Construction Programs, SF 424E or Assurances Construction, SF424D (whichever is specified in the announcement); Certificate of Indirect Costs; Detailed project descriptions, statement of work, and budgets; Description of work completed to date; and description of type and source of matching funds.
Award Procedure (093):
The application package is reviewed to ensure that all required documents are complete and signed by the appropriate person. The statement of work (SOW) and budget are reviewed to ensure the appropriation language requirements are met. The SOW is reviewed for technical issues and budget for appropriate costs, including compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act and related laws and orders. Applications are compared to determine relative satisfaction of published selection criteria. Select the applicants that are most qualified. After the application package is acceptable to both parties, a grant agreement is drafted, reviewed, and signed upon agreement by both parties.
Deadlines (094):
Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.
Range of Approval/Disapproval Time (095):
From 60 to 90 days. Four to 16 weeks after application.
Appeals (096):
60 Days & to the Administrator, Federal Railroad Administration.
Renewals (097):
Grants contemplated in this program are predominantly project-oriented rather than on-going efforts and are therefore non-renewable.
Assistance Consideration (100)
Formula and Matching Requirements (101):
This program has no statutory formula.
This program has no matching requirements.
This program does not have MOE requirements.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance (102):
No restriction on period of time the assistance normally is available. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Assistance is usually awarded upon request for reimbursement.
Post Assistance Requirements (110)
Reports (111):
The grantee shall submit the following reports: Quarterly progress reports giving an account of significant progress (findings, events, trends, etc.) made during the reporting period, and a description of any technical and/or cost problems encountered or anticipated that will affect completion of the grant. Quarterly financial status reports using SF 425, Federal Financial Report. Quarterly Federal Cash Transactions reports using SF 425, Federal Cash Transaction Report. Final report giving details of the results and benefits of the Grantee's improvement efforts. A final report detailing the work conducted and the progress accomplished will be required. Presentations at an annual workshop are expected. SF-425. A final report detailing the work conducted and the progress accomplished will be required. Presentations at an annual workshop are expected. SF-425. Grant recipients will be monitored periodically by FRA to ensure that the project goals, objectives, performance requirements, timelines, milestones, budgets, and other related program criteria are being met.
Audits (112):
In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133. These audits are due to the cognizant Federal agency, submitted through the Federal Audit Clearinghouse, not later than 9 months after the end of the grantees fiscal year.
Records (113):
During the course of its activities under a grant agreement and for 3 years thereafter, the applicant must agree to retain intact and to provide any data, documents, reports, records, contracts, and supporting materials relating to its performance under the agreement as FRA may require. Reporting and record-keeping requirements are set forth in 49 CFR Part 19 for private non-profit and for-profit Grantees. Closeout does not alter these requirements.
Financial Information (120)
Obligations (122):
(Cooperative Agreements) FY 13 $40,529,325; FY 14 est $46,250,000; and FY 15 est $35,100,000 - FY 2013 Obligations: $40,529,325.05
Travel $98,805.17
Cooperative Agreements/Contracts $38,816,769.00
Grants $1,313,881.00 Equipment: $299,869.88
Note: Amounts exclude funding received from other agencies under the economy act.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance (123):
Average is 350,000 for FY 2013.
Program Accomplishments (130):
Fiscal Year 2013: Service testing of devices that measure rail neutral temperature. Advances in understanding and optimization of wheel-rail contact conditions. Improved strength of concrete ties due to additives. Fiscal Year 2014: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2015: No Current Data Available
Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature (140):
Not Applicable.
Information Contacts (150)
Regional or Local Office (151) :
Headquarters Office (152):
John Tunna 1200 New Jersey Avenue, S.E., Washington, District of Columbia 20590 Phone: (202) 493-6359
Website Address (153):
Examples of Funded Projects (170):
Fiscal Year 2013: Service testing of devices that measure rail neutral temperature. Advances in understanding and optimization of wheel-rail contact conditions. Improved strength of concrete ties due to additives. Fiscal Year 2014: Continued development of the nondestuctive method for the measurement of rail neutral temperature2014. Evaluation of alternative forms of advanced battery technology for line-haul railroad applications. Continued study of rolling contact fatigue, friction and lubrication in wheel-rail interaction. Fiscal Year 2015: No Current Data Available
Criteria for Selecting Proposals (180):
In descending order of relative importance: (1) Degree to which it may improve upon or advance railroad safety; (2) Overall scientific and/technical merit; (3) Likelihood for its near term adoption and implementation of possible recommendations; (4) Degree to which the proposed project fits into the Administration's overall research objectives: (5) Reasonableness and realism of the proposed cost, and the availability of funds (to include due consideration for proposed cost-sharing by the applicant).