RRIF Express Eligibility and How to Apply
What borrowers need to know:
Detailed submission information can be found below and in the Federal Register notice.
NOTE: The Federal Register notice has the official and authoritative eligiblity requirements.
- Class II railroads
- Class III railroads
- Joint ventures where at least one entity is a Class II or III railroad
NOTE: For RRIF Express eligibility, total eligible project costs must be less than $50 million. The Federal Register notice has the official and authoritative eligibility requirements.
- Track improvement
- Bridge rehabilitation
- Rolling stock acquisition
- Planning and design
- Refinancing non-federal debt (up to a maximum of 40% of the final RRIF loan)
- Track improvement predominantly within existing railroad right-of-way, including stabilizing embankments, installing or reinstalling track, re-grading, replacing rail, ties, slabs and ballast, installing, maintaining, or restoring drainage ditches, cleaning ballast, constructing minor curve realignments, improving or replacing interlockings, improving grade crossings and warning devices, and the installation of ancillary equipment such as for communication, signals and train control;
- Bridge rehabilitation, including reconstruction or replacement, the rehabilitation of the rail elements of docks or piers for the purposes of intermodal transfers, and the construction of bridges, culverts, or grade separation projects that are predominantly within existing right-of-way and that do not involve extensive in-water construction activities, such as projects replacing bridge components including stringers, caps, piles, or decks, the 8 construction of roadway overpasses to replace at-grade crossings, construction or reconstruction of approaches or embankments to bridges, or construction or replacement of short span bridges;
- Rolling stock acquisition including locomotives, passenger coaches, freight cars, trainsets, and construction, maintenance or inspection equipment;
- Planning and design related to the project activities included under items (a)- (c) above;
- Refinancing of non-federal debt (incurred at least three years prior to December 13, 2019, and for the purpose of one or more of the activities listed in 45 USC 822(b)(1)(A) or (C). Refinancing is limited to up to 40% of the final RRIF loan amount. Letters of Interest including refinancing must demonstrate with specificity in Section D5 how the refinancing would improve the creditworthiness of the applicant and document how such improvement would facilitate the activities referenced in items (a)-(c) above and would increase the applicant’s ability to repay a RRIF loan and the overall financial health of the applicant.
NOTE: The Federal Register notice has the official and authoritative requirements.
- Applicant Financial History and Projections
- Environmental Clearance
- Domestic Preference
- Project Readiness
Applicant Financial History and Projections: Attachment D-1 of the Letter of Interest must include audited financial statements (by a qualified third party, e.g., a certified public accountant) for the consecutive two years preceding the year of application and that have no significant unresolved findings. Attachment D-1 must also include five years of prospective financial projections (pro-forma).
Collateral: If collateral will be pledged for the RRIF loan, Section D9 of the Letter of Interest must be supported with an independent appraisal of the collateral that must 9 have been completed within the past 12 months preceding submission of an LOI. Section D9 of the Letter of Interest must demonstrate that the collateral will be unencumbered at time of closing, including a description of any lien release process that would occur prior to closing on the RRIF loan to render currently pledged collateral unencumbered.
Environmental Clearance: Section B6 and Attachment B-6 of the Letter of Interest must demonstrate that either NEPA review is complete or the project qualifies for a Categorical Exclusion under NEPA, in which case Attachment B-6 must include a completed Federal Railroad Administration Categorical Exclusion worksheet with its Letter of Interest. For projects involving replacement of existing railroad bridges, supporting documentation must be provided that assesses the eligibility of the bridge for listing in the National Register of Historic Places and addressing compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.
Domestic Preference: Section B4(a) of the Letter of Interest must demonstrate that the steel, iron, and manufactured goods used in the project will be produced in the United States in accordance with the Federal Railroad Administration “RRIF Buy America” policy, which follows 49 U.S.C. 24405(a). Projects that require a waiver are not eligible for the RRIF Express Program, however, prospective borrowers can seek a loan from the overall RRIF program for projects that require a waiver.
Project Readiness: Section B4(c) of the Letter of Interest must demonstrate the prospective borrower’s ability to commence the contracting process for construction of the project (e.g., issuance of a final RFP) by not later than 90 days after the date on which a RRIF credit instrument is obligated for the project.
NOTE: Only complete Letters of Interest received by the deadline below, at the below email address with the subject line listed below shall be deemed properly filed. The Federal Register notice has the official and authoritative application requirements.