railroad bridge

Federal/State Funding Programs

Federal and State grants and loans play an increasingly important role in both new start and ongoing railroad operations in both the passenger and freight rail sectors.  Grants and loans are vital to many agencies and railroads as they expand or reinvest in their infrastructures.  RLBA brings unmatched knowledge and expertise of these programs and has assisted clients over many decades in applying for and receiving grants and loans.

Sample Project Descriptions:


The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) hired a team including RLBA to assist in a review of an Iowa Interstate (IAIS) application to obtain a $31 million Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) loan. RLBA reviewed the application and supporting materials prepared by the applicant and provided FRA with an evaluation of the carrier’s ability to repay the FRA loan. RLBA’s work included reviews of historical and pro-forma financial statements, traffic projections also a “desktop assessment” of the proposed locomotive acquisition. RLBA also reviewed two track and land net liquidation value estimates of the IAIS, which were used as collateral of the loan. IAIS’s application was approved by the FRA.


Following the award of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) funding to North Carolina, RLBA assisted in the implementation of passenger rail improvements on the North Carolina Railroad (NCRR) between Raleigh and Charlotte, which affected a Master Agreement between the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), NCRR and Norfolk Southern Corporation. NCDOT intended to amend the Master Agreement to account for changes in railroad right of way maintenance costs resulting from the passenger rail improvements. As a member of a consultant team, RLBA assisted in identifying railroad right-of-way maintenance costs which would result from ARRA projects and recommended amendments to NCDOT’s Master Agreement to account for changed responsibilities and their costs.


The Apache Railway Company (APA) contracted with RLBA to assist it in preparing an application to seek a $4.5 million Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement (RRIF) loan from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). RLBA performed an appraisal of approximately 52 miles of track assets owned by APA including the mainline between Holbrook and Snowflake, Arizona. RLBA calculated the net liquidation value (NLV) of the track structure in its current condition. In addition to performing a physical inspection of the track infrastructure, RLBA performed a “desktop appraisal” of ten APA-owned ALCO locomotives and various pieces of maintenance-of-way equipment. RLBA assembled the final RRIF loan application and submitted it to FRA on behalf of APA.