[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 59 (Monday, March 29, 2010)]
[Pages 15484-15485]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-6889]



Federal Railroad Administration

[Docket No. FRA-2010-005-N-5]

Railroad Safety Technology Program Grant Program

AGENCY: Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Department of 
Transportation (DOT).

ACTION: Notice of Funds Availability, Solicitation of Applications.


SUMMARY: The Rail Safety Technology Program is a newly authorized 
program under the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (RSIA) (Pub. L. 
110-432; October 16, 2008). The program authorizes the Department of 
Transportation to provide grants to passenger and freight rail 
carriers, railroad suppliers, and State and local governments for 
projects that have a public benefit of improved railroad safety and 
efficiency. The program makes available $50,000,000 in Federal funds. 
This grant program has a maximum 80 percent Federal and minimum 20 
percent grantee cost share (cash or in-kind) match requirement.

DATES: FRA will begin accepting grant applications 10 days after 
publication of this Notice of Funding Availability in the Federal 
Register. Applications may be submitted until July 1, 2010. Reviews 
will be conducted immediately following the solicitation close date. 
Selection announcements will be made on or around September 3, 2010.

ADDRESSES: Applications for grants under this Program must be submitted 
electronically to Grants.gov (http://www.grants.gov) following the 
detailed procedures in the grant application package online. The 
Grants.gov Web site allows organizations to find and apply 
electronically for competitive grant opportunities from all Federal 
grant-making agencies. Any entity wishing to submit an application 
pursuant to this notice should immediately initiate the process of 
registering with Grants.Gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Those interested in responding to this 
solicitation are strongly encouraged to first call Dr. Mark Hartong, 
FRA, Senior Electronics Engineer (Phone: (202) 493-1332; e-mail: 
[email protected]), or Mr. David Blackmore, FRA, Program Manager-
Advanced Technologies (Phone: (312) 835-3903, e-mail: 
[email protected]), to discuss the prospective idea, its 
potential responsiveness to the solicitation, and potential for FRA 
interest. Taking this action could forestall costly efforts by 
interested parties whose proposed work may not be of interest to FRA 
under this grant. Non-technical inquiries should be directed to the 
Grants Officer, Ms. Jennifer Capps (Phone: (202) 493-0112, e-mail: 
[email protected]).


    Authority and Funding: The Railroad Safety Technology Program 
(RSTP) authorized under section 105 of the RSIA (Division A, Pub. L. 
110-432) (49 U.S.C. 20158), authorizes the appropriation of $50 
million annually for fiscal years (FY) 2009 through 2013. The 
Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies 
Appropriations Act of 2010 provided $50 million for this purpose.

    Eligible Organizations: Title 49 U.S.C. 20158 provides that 
``Grants shall be made under this section to eligible passenger and 
freight railroad carriers, railroad suppliers, and State and local 
governments for projects * * * that have a public benefit of improved 
safety and network efficiency.''
    To be eligible for assistance, entities must have either received 
approval of the Technology Implementation Plans (TIP) and Positive 
Train Control Implementation Plans (PTCIP) required by 49 U.S.C. 
20156(e)(2) and 20157, or demonstrate to the satisfaction of FRA that 
they are currently developing the required plans. Preference will be 
given in the following order:
    1. Entities that have completed and received FRA approval of both 
their TIP and PTCIP.
    2. Entities that have completed and received FRA approval of their 
    3. Entities that have submitted their PTCIP to FRA for approval.
    4. Entities that have certified to FRA progress towards completion 
of their PTCIP and TIP.
    5. All other entities.
    Collaborative project submissions by freight and passenger 
carriers, suppliers, and State and local governments on eligible 
projects will be evaluated more favorably.
    Eligible Projects: Grant awards will focus on using technologies or 
methods that are ready for deployment, or of sufficient technical 
maturity that they can be made ready for deployment within the 24 
months of the grant award. FRA will give preference to collaborative 
projects by multiple railroads that have active railroad carrier and 
sponsoring public authority participation in the following order:
    Priority 1: Projects that:
    (a) Support the resolution of Northeast Corridor Positive Train 
Control (PTC) interoperability issues,
    (b) Support the resolution of mixed freight and passenger PTC 
interoperability issues in the Los Angeles Basin, or
    (c) Facilitate sharing of PTC communications infrastructure and 
    Priority 2: Projects that:
    (a) Support high-speed passenger operations using general freight 
PTC technologies,
    (b) Optimize PTC deployment on the core 2015 PTC territory, or
    (c) Support PTC deployment on non-2015 core PTC territory.
    Priority 3: All other projects.
    Selection Criteria: Applications will be evaluated and ranked based 
on both technical and cost/price factors.
    Technical Factors (75% overall weighting):
    1. Responsiveness to Solicitation Intent and Requirements (20%): 
Degree to which proposal meets the conceptual intent and submission 
requirements of the solicitation.
    2. Significance for Implementing Interoperable PTC Deployment and 
Fit with FRA Mission (30%): Degree to which successful implementation 
of proposed idea would make interoperable PTC deployment more 
technically or economically practical (includes contribution to cost 
effectiveness, reliability, safety, availability, or maintainability), 
and fit within FRA's primary mission of ensuring the safety of the 
Nation's approximately 700 railroads.
    3. Technical Merit (20%): Degree to which proposed ideas exhibit a 

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scientific and engineering basis; how well the proposed ideas could be 
practically applied in, and would be compatible with, the railroad 
environment; and perceived likelihood of technical and practical 
    4. Key Personnel and Supporting Organization (15%): The technical 
qualifications and demonstrated experience of key personnel proposed to 
lead and perform the technical efforts; qualifications of primary and 
supporting organizations to fully and successfully execute proposal 
plan within proposed timeframe and budget.
    5. Collaborative Efforts (15%): The degree to which proposed effort 
is supported by multiple entities and the applicability and 
availability of results to the larger railroad industry.
    Cost/Price Factor (25% overall weighting):
    1. Affordability and degree to which proposed effort appears to be 
a good value for the amount of funding requested. This includes the 
reasonableness and realism of the proposed costs (60%).
    2. The extent of proposed cost sharing or cost participation under 
the proposed effort (exclusive of the applicant's prior investment) 
    All evaluation factors other than cost or price, when combined, are 
significantly more important than cost or price alone. Technical 
evaluation is appreciably more important than cost or price and, as 
such, greater consideration shall be given to technical excellence 
rather than cost or price alone. An offer must be found acceptable 
under all applicable evaluation factors to be considered eligible for 
award. Awards will be made to responsible applicants whose offers 
provide the best value to the Government in terms of technical 
excellence, cost or price, and performance risk to include consistency 
and accord with the objectives of the solicitation and FRA's expressed 
areas of interest.
    Requirements and Conditions for Grant Applications: Detailed 
application requirements and conditions may be found in the grant 
application guidance (RSS-RSTG-FY2010-1) for this solicitation on 
    Information Collection: The Office of Management and Budget (OMB), 
under emergency clearance procedures, has approved the information 
collection associated with the Rail Safety Technology Program for 6 
months. The approval number for this collection of information is OMB 
No. 2130-0587, and the expiration date is September 30, 2010. FRA will 
be publishing a Notice in the Federal Register shortly in which the 
agency will be seeking regular OMB Clearance for this collection of 
information. Such approvals are normally good for 3 years. FRA will 
publish a Notice for this second OMB approval once it is obtained.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on March 23, 2010.
Brenda Moscoso,
Acting Associate Administrator for Railroad Safety/Chief Safety 
[FR Doc. 2010-6889 Filed 3-26-10; 8:45 am]