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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):
PROJECT GRANTS
Uses and Use Restrictions (070):
Projects must show a relationship towards advancing railroad safety and technology. Applicants must typically demonstrate 5 years of railroad research activity.
Eligibility Requirements (080)
Applicant Eligibility (081):
Applicants can 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 typically required.
Beneficiary Eligibility (082):
No restrictions.
Credentials/Documentation (083):
See Application Procedures section (092). 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles 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):
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program.
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 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503. In accordance with the provisions of 2 C.F.R. Part 200, nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 C.F.R. Part 200.
Records (113):
During the course of its activities under a grant agreement and for three 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 2 C.F.R. Part 200 for private non-profit and for-profit Grantees. Closeout does not alter these requirements.
Financial Information (120)
Obligations (122):
(Cooperative Agreements) FY 14 $38,309,790; FY 15 est $46,687,854; and FY 16 est $39,250,000 - Current Fiscal Year:
2015
Estimate:
$46,687,854
Budget Fiscal Year:
2016
$39,250,000.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance (123):
Average is 350,000 for FY 2014.
Program Accomplishments (130):
Fiscal Year 2014: Continued development of the nondestuctive method for the measurement of rail neutral temperature. 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: Initiation of the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Associationsí Short Line Safety Institute to assess and improve membersí safety performance. Fiscal Year 2016: No Current Data Available
Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature (140):
Not Applicable.
Information Contacts (150)
Regional or Local Office (151) :
None.
Headquarters Office (152):
John Tunna 1200 New Jersey Avenue, S.E., Washington, District of Columbia 20590 Phone: (202) 493-6359
Website Address (153):
http://www.fra.dot.gov
Examples of Funded Projects (170):
Fiscal Year 2014: Development of a nondestuctive method for the measurement of rail neutral temperature. Evaluation of alternative forms of advanced battery technology for line-haul railroad applications. Study of rolling contact fatigue, friction and lubrication in wheel-rail interaction. Fiscal Year 2015: Short Line Safety Institute. Heat exchanger for energy recovery in locomotives. Fiscal Year 2016: 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).