EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced Wednesday that the application periods for grants under the Rail Transportation Assistance Program (RTAP) and the Rail Freight Assistance Program (RFAP) are now open.

“Pennsylvania’s rail freight network keeps goods moving and supports the economy,” said PennDOT Secretary, Mike Carroll. “These investments support the business community and keep rail lines safe.”

PennDOT says Pennsylvania ranks first in the country in the number of operating railroads, with 65, and ranks near the top in total track mileage, with more than 5,600 miles. In the 2022 grant period, PennDOT awarded $26,000,000 for 24 rail freight projects.

PennDOT manages two grant programs: RTAP, a capital budget grant program funded with bonds; and RFAP, which is funded through the Multimodal Fund created by Act 89.

Both programs provide financial assistance for investments in rail freight infrastructure, with the intent of preserving essential rail freight service and stimulating economic growth through new or expanded rail freight service.

Applications will be available on the website now through 4:00 p.m. on Friday, September 1.

Program information can be found on the PennDOT website and all application questions should be directed to Harrison Warren at hwarren@pa.gov or 717-736-7150, as well as, Steve Panko at stepanko@pa.gov or 717-787-1202.