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What's new in the 2024 CRISI grant application?

We’ve gone through the CRISI Grant NOFO document to give you some insight into the changes. If your town was already preparing by working off of the 2022 NOFO, then this is a good place to look and make sure your bases are covered. If you’re new to the process and haven’t started yet, skip to the last two links in this post. They’ll give you an exhaustive overview of the process and best practices from the folks that created this years grant document.

Now, the updates.

The most important (and obvious) of the changes is the due date.

The entire application must be received by 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time on May 28, 2024. (The 2022 deadline was earlier in the day. They’re giving you almost seven extra hours to get it submitted.)

The NOFO document can be accessed here:

Enter “20.325” in the CFDA field, and hit the search button.

If your community is not currently registered, register early in the Federal government's System for Award Management (SAM). It now takes up to four weeks to get through the process. This is twice as long as estimated in 2022. If you’re not registering by the end of April you may not be eligible to submit.

Register or renew here:

Eligible Projects:

Everything remains the same, except Project Planning Activities can now be funded for otherwise eligible projects. This is great news for communities still trying to finalize solutions before they build.

New Funding Set-aside amounts:

Amount ($Millions)

Set-aside Purpose


Rural Projects


New Intercity Passenger Rail Routes


Counter-Trespassing Projects




Workforce Development

Non-Federal Match Requirements:

Though not new, the government will not fund more than than 80% of a project, and applicants must identify the sources of the matching funds as part of the project cost. We have heard from a number of member towns that didn’t fully understand this requirement. There are very few exceptions to this rule. (See for details.)

Technical Merit:

The new NOFO has removed the following requirement: “Applications indicate strong project readiness and meet requirements under the project track(s) designated by the applicant.” We believe this is likely due to the inclusion of project planning activities under eligible projects.

Administration Priorities:

Slight changes were made to priorities. Workforce Development, Job Quality, and Wealth Creation were added, as was “Justice 40.” Details are in the document, as is a link to the Justice40 mapping tool that provides info on rail infrastructure, communities, and pollution levels by location. You’ll need to include this information in your application.

A new selection criteria has been added:

“The project may not be addressed by other FRA grant programs including short line railroad infrastructure and equipment, safety projects and technology, workforce development, congestion relief projects addressing freight and passenger rail chokepoints, and intercity passenger rail state of good repair (on shared public-private

and publicly owned infrastructure)”

Some of these factors may be addressed by the mapping tool. Other details are available in the NOFO.

Best of all, the FRA recently provided a webinar all about the 2024 CRISI Grant.

Visit and click on “Grants and Loans”. The video of the event should be available there in the next few days. The supporting presentation is already available here:

We strongly suggest that you review the webinar and materials if you’re likely to submit. They provide explicit best practices and can save you significant time and effort in addition to improving your odds.

Of note, the suggested Project Narrative Outline has changed. Here’s the new one:

  1. Cover Page

  2. Project Summary

  3. Grant Funds, Sources, and Uses of Project Funds

  4. Applicant Eligibility

  5. Project Eligibility

  6. Detailed Project Description

  7. Project Location

  8. Evaluation and Selection Criteria

  9. Project Implementation & Management

This new structure no longer has distinct sections for Grade Crossing Information, Safety Benefit, and Environmental Readiness. These are all still likely to be factors in the application, so you may want be sure they’re addressed elsewhere. Check the presentation link above for details.

That’s it! Let us know if you have questions. We’re here for you.


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