News & Reviews News Wire Head of FRA says states need more staff dedicated to rail projects

Head of FRA says states need more staff dedicated to rail projects

By Trains Staff | January 23, 2023

| Last updated on February 6, 2024

Expertise required to pursue funds for passenger expansion, Bose tells mayors conference

Email Newsletter

Get the newest photos, videos, stories, and more from brands. Sign-up for email today!

Man in suit speaking at conference
FRA Administrator Amit Bose speaks at the National Railroad Construction and Maintenence Association Conference on Jan. 6, 2023. Bose told a conference of mayors on Jan. 20 that state transportation departments need more expertise to deal with rail projects. David Lassen

WASHINGTON — The head of the Federal Railroad Administration is urging states to increase staffing and expertise to handle rail projects, given the additional funding available from the federal government.

A report on the website Route Fifty, which covers issues of interest to state and local goverments, says FRA Administrator Amit Bose told the U.S. Conference of Mayors that it is important “not just that cities and towns have technical capacity, but also that your state deparments of transportation have a robust rail program. … Passenger rail is a specialized craft. We need to make sure we have the resources and a focus on that.”

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes $66 billion for Amtrak projects, with $36 billion of that dedicated to partnerships with states. Bose told the website that there is a significant contrast in rail staffing between states with significant rail operations and others which “compartmentalize rail within the freight office or the intermodal office. It can be a staff of one or two. Other states have dozens of staff dedicated to that. Some states rely a lot on consultants. But there’s nothing that beats having public employees that are publicly minded on staff.”

5 thoughts on “Head of FRA says states need more staff dedicated to rail projects

  1. Most states probably are more focused on the 80% of the Infrastructure Bill that’s going to their hwys. Most states don’t even have rail divisions in their state Transportation Depts the rail portion is like pocket change to them & a lot of them are not interested in rail freight or passenger.

  2. OF COURSE a member of Te Establishment and ‘urging’ other government entities to expand their governments and establishment. The bureaucracy just builds and builds.

  3. WoW! Never would have guessed this! I’m sure NYSDOT’s closet size rail office can do high speed rail, look at our Empire Corridor EIS going on year 14 without completion, things getting done in record time!

You must login to submit a comment