March 22, 2018

Duckworth Discusses Transportation Priorities with Federal Railroad Administrator Ronald Batory


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth met today with Federal Railroad Administrator Ronald Batory to discuss funding for projects that will help make Illinois’s railroad infrastructure safer and more efficient. Duckworth and Batory reviewed several critical Illinois infrastructure projects, including the 75th Street Corridor Improvement Project, Merchants Bridge and the Chicago-to-St. Louis High Speed Rail Project. As Administrator, Batory oversees the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), which is an agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) responsible for ensuring safety throughout the railroad industry. A photo of the meeting is available here.

“Railroad systems all across our nation are in desperate need of increased federal investments,” Duckworth said. “Supporting projects to improve these systems is critical to ensuring a safe and reliable commute for millions of hard-working Americans, as well more dependable service for businesses that rely on our freight network to move their goods. I’ll keep working with Administrator Batory to secure funding for projects in Illinois that will create jobs and improve public safety.”

Included in the Congressional budget agreement that will soon be voted on is $3.09 billion for FRA programs, which represents an increase of $1.24 billion (67%) over the previous year. Amtrak grant funding will rise to $1.942 billion, which is $447 million (30%) more than last year, including $50 million for Positive Train Control (PTC) funding intended to prevent the deadly accidents like the several high-profile trail derailments we’ve seen in recent years. While commuter rail systems are generally not eligible for Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvement (CRISI) grants, $250 million in PTC grants will be available for commuter railroads in this agreement.

Senator Duckworth serves on three committees with jurisdiction over infrastructure, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. Duckworth is committed to improving the nation’s transportation systems, while working to ensure that Illinois receives adequate funding from the federal government to rebuild and modernize the state’s infrastructure.