The US Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has issued a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA-2010-1) soliciting a variety of basic and applied technology research proposals to advance the state of the art in the high-speed rail and intercity passenger service area. Estimated total program funding is $25 million; the award ceiling per project is $2.5 million.
Projects are to be focused towards facilitating the development of technologies that can be used to achieve safe, efficient, and effective deployment of integrated passenger rail systems in the North American rail environment. Such technologies are to:
- Reduce the operational and program deployment risks associated with mixed use rail lines;
- Improve safety by reducing human and technology failures;
- Bring about capital cost reductions and economy in producing equipment and facilities;
- Reduce operating costs of rail service by providing more efficient operations;
- Improve the reliability of equipment and infrastructure components by reducing failures and/or reducing false failure detections;
- Enhance the revenue-generating capability of high-speed operations by attracting greater ridership by reducing trip times, upgrading customer service quality, increasing reliability, or improving on time performance;
- Enhance the social benefits and/or environmental aspects of high-speed rail; and
- Facilitate the development of domestic manufacture of rail equipment and infrastructure components.