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Federal Railroad Administration Issues $967.1 Million MTA Loan to Finance Critical Safety Upgrades to the Nation’s Largest Commuter Railroads

Thursday, May 7, 2015

WASHINGTON – The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) today closed on a $967.1 million Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) loan with New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in order to facilitate the deployment of Positive Train Control (PTC) on both the Metro-North Railroad (Metro North) and the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR).  It is the largest RRIF loan in FRA’s history.

“This loan will help prevent derailments and ensure the safety of the riding public,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.  “Continuous investment in rail technology and infrastructure will enable us to meet the growing demand for rail while saving lives.”

The RRIF program provides direct federal loans and loan guarantees to finance the acquisition and development of railroad and intermodal facilities and equipment.  The FRA gives priority to projects that provide public benefits, including benefits to public safety, the environment, and economic development.  As part of the President’s Build America Investment Initiative, the Department has established the Build America Transportation Investment Center to encourage the use of innovative financing tools such as RRIF.

The loan will help establish an additional layer of safeguards that will increase safety for LIRR and Metro-North customers, employees, and residents of the communities served by the railroads.  MTA will integrate PTC with existing safety controls that the LIRR and Metro-North currently have in place and have used for decades.

“PTC is the backbone of the next generation of rail safety and we are committed to its full deployment and implementation,” said Acting Federal Railroad Administrator Sarah Feinberg. “There are 166 million rides taken on LIRR and Metro-North annually.  Installing PTC will further ensure the safety of employees and passengers alike while boosting public confidence in both railroads.”

To date, FRA has given out 34 RRIF loans totaling nearly $2.7 billion.  Click HERE for more information on FRA’s RRIF Program.

Rail – Moving America Forward

The mission of the Federal Railroad Administration is to enable the safe, reliable, and efficient movement of people and goods for a strong America, now and in the future.


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