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 eligibility requirements.
- Class II railroads
- Class III railroads
- Commuter 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 $150 million. The Federal Register notice has the official and authoritative eligibility requirements.
- Acquire, improve, or rehabilitate intermodal or rail equipment or facilities, including track, components of track, bridges, yards, buildings, and shops, and costs related to these activities, including pre-construction costs. Note that this category of eligible activities includes the installation of positive train control systems;
- Develop or establish new intermodal or railroad facilities;
- Reimburse planning and design expenses relating to activities listed above;
- Refinancing of non-federal debt (incurred at least three years prior to November 27, 2020) and for the purpose of one or more of the activities listed in 45 U.S.C. 822(b)(1)(A) or (C). Refinancing is limited to up to 75% 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) and (b) 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: The Letter of Interest must demonstrate that either NEPA review is complete or the project is likely to qualify for a Categorical Exclusion (CE) or Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) under NEPA. If a NEPA review has not been completed, the application must include a Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) CE worksheet with its Letter of Interest. Where appropriate, the CE worksheet must include substantive analysis of potential impacts to environmental resources and indicate the sources of the information or data used to reach conclusions. For some project types, the CE worksheet will satisfy NEPA review and documentation requirements; however, for other project types, the CE worksheet will inform FRA with sufficient details about the project scope and potential environmental impacts to determine if an Environmental Assessment (EA) is required. The Applicant would be responsible for providing sufficient information and funding for the preparation of an EA, which would also extend the duration of project development activities. FRA may require the use of a third-party contractor consistent with 23 CFR 771.109 (e) for the preparation of an EA. In the event that an EA is necessary, eligible projects must receive a FONSI to qualify for RRIF Express.
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.