SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Rail infrastructure for Massachusetts is to economically grow with the help of up to $1.75 million, especially in the Springfield area.

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) elaborated that the funding will be part of the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) grant program.

To modernize rail across rural and urban communities, 46 projects in 32 states, including the District of Columbia were awarded more than $368 million.

The rail infrastructure is to become modernized nationwide which will help reduce congestion and get people and goods transported quicker. An increased supply chain resilience, fluidity, supported short line railroads, technology, and safety advancement will create high-quality paying jobs and economic growth.

For the next five years, the funding for this rail infrastructure program has tripled o $1 billion through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. If supply chains and the economy is strengthened, it will help insist on getting goods from ships to shelves more quickly and less costly for the American people.

“Americans deserve a world-class rail system that allows people and goods to get where they need to go more quickly and affordably, while reducing traffic and pollution on our roads,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “We’re proud to award these grants to improve passenger rail for riders and strengthen the freight rail that underpins our supply chains and makes our economy work.” 

The $1.8 million fund is to go towards MassDOT’s development of engineering and environmental clearance for track, signal, and infrastructure improvements around Springfield Union Station. 

Improvements include the following for the Springfield Area:

  • Platforms, additional crossover tracks, storage tracks, a new layover facility, and other work that will support the Amtrak Springfield Line.
  • The CSX Boston Albany Line, and small segments of the former Armory Branch and Knowledge Corridor.
  • The project will improve operational efficiency, reduce travel times, improve passenger accessibility for intercity passenger rail services, and reduce freight and passenger rail conflicts on corridors in the Springfield area.  

“This round of CRISI grants – one of the largest ever – is a major step forward for FRA and the Biden Administration’s efforts to revitalize and rebuild the country’s infrastructure,” said FRA Administrator Amit Bose. “These awards will allow FRA to support rail projects that have a direct impact on numerous communities nationwide while laying the groundwork for future growth.”

A minimum of 25 percent of the funding has to be awarded to rural projects. For projects that develop new intercity passenger rail services, $87.6 is accounted for. Regarding capital projects or engineering solutions targeting trepassing, exceeding the required statutory minimums of $25.7 million is to be utilized.

Full list of the FY 2021 CRISI grant awards