ASLRRA Touts Improvements to RRIF Express Loan Program

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ASLRRA Touts Improvements to RRIF Express Loan Program
Program Changes Will Make RRIF Express Even More Accessible to Short Line Railroads

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WASHINGTON, October 30, 2020 – Today’s notice, issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Build America Bureau, regarding changes to the Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Funding (RRIF) Express program (RRIF Express 2.0) incorporates several changes that will enable more short line railroads to access the program.

The updates include extending the filing time for applications, increasing the size of loans eligible for the program up to $150M, expanding the scope of eligible projects to include most everything eligible under the traditional RRIF program, increasing the percentage of a loan application that can be used for refinancing up to 75%, and increasing the potential amount of Credit Risk Premium subsidy up to a max of 10% of loan size (with a $5M cap).

“The ASLRRA and the short line freight railroads we represent are excited about these improvements being rolled out as RRIF Express 2.0. The modifications combine to form a robust and significant improvement to the program and should allow for more short line projects to be presented and selected for funding,” said Chuck Baker, President, ASLRRA. “These projects will in turn allow short lines to better serve their thousands of shippers and the largely rural and small town communities that they serve with safe, efficient, reliable and environmentally sustainable freight rail service.” The ASLRRA has worked closely with the administrator of the program, the Build America Bureau, to continually improve the accessibility of the RRIF program for small business railroads.

The collaboration resulted in the launch of RRIF Express in December of 2019, which took measures to reduce the time and cost of applying for funding.

The RRIF Express program has already generated significant interest among some ASLRRA member railroads, and the expectation is that these changes will further increase interest. Railroads that have submitted applications under the RRIF Express program already this year will be able to utilize the provisions announced today. “The Build America Bureau should be commended for their ongoing attempts to improve this program to allow it to fulfil its important mission - reducing the time and costs associated with securing loans to modernize aging freight rail infrastructure. ” said Chuck Baker, President, ASLRRA.

RRIF Express program Website

About ASLRRA - The American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) is a non-profit trade association representing the interests of the nation’s 600 short line and regional railroads and railroad supply company members in legislative and regulatory matters. Short lines operate 47,500 miles of track in 49 states, or approximately 29% of the national railroad network, touching in origination or termination one out of every five cars moving on the national railroad system, serving customers who otherwise would be cut off from the national railroad network. www.aslrra.org
 




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