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The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has awarded $21.2 million in grants for projects designed to improve grade-crossing safety, implement positive train control (PTC) and invest in passenger-rail service, the agency announced yesterday.The eight grants were awarded as part of a Notice of Funding Availability that the FRA issued in July 2014 to distribute new fiscal-year 2014 Omnibus federal funding, as well as unobligated funds from the High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Program, FRA officials said in a press release.Grants awarded for crossing projects went to the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) for the Pacific Surfliner Chesterfield Drive crossing, $2.2 million; and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) for the Ash Street underpass in Springfield, Ill., $2 million.Caltrans and IDOT also received grants for passenger-rail projects: Caltrans, $2.98 million, for the Coachella Valley-San Gorgonio Pass corridor investment plan; and IDOT, $3 million, for the Chicago Union Station terminal planning study.Entities receiving grants for PTC implementation projects are:• ARINC Inc., for implementation of a PTC shared network and user support, $4.9 million; • Metropolitan Transportation Authority, for PTC on Metro-North Railroad's Hudson Line, $3 million;• Amtrak, for wireless communication and key management implementation, $2.64 million;and• Transportation Technology Center Inc., for PTC implementation interoperable train control messaging security, $432,000.
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