USDOT: $500 Million In Low-Cost Loans For Class II And III Railroads Available Though New RRIF Express Program

The U.S. Department of Transportation Published a Notice of Funding Opportunity for Letters of Interest for the Railroad Rehabilitation (RRIF) Express Pilot Program.

13 December, Federal Register

From various sites associated with the program:

This notice establishes a pilot Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (“RRIF”) Express Program (“RRIF Express”) aimed at increasing access to the RRIF program by short line and regional railroads. The RRIF Express Program will be administered by the DOT’s National Surface Transportation and Innovative Finance Bureau (the “Build America Bureau”)

RRIF Express aims to reduce the time and costs associated with securing loans to modernize aging freight rail infrastructure.

RRIF Express benefits:

  • Credit Risk Premium waived (up to 5% of your total loan amount)
  • Advisory fee assistance (up to $100,000 per borrower)
  • Low, low rates (as of December 12, 2019, the interest rate is 2.25%)
  • Expedited loan processing

Subject to the availability of funds , applicants accepted into the RRIF Express Program may benefit from two types of financial assistance: (a) Cost Assistance up to $100,000 per application to pay for a portion of the Bureau’s advisor expenses borne by applicants; and (b) for those applicants that ultimately receive RRIF credit assistance, CRP Assistance up to 5% of the final RRIF loan amount to offset the CRP paid by the borrower. Any costs beyond $100,000 and any CRP beyond 5% would be paid by the prospective RRIF borrower. These funds will be made available to benefit applicants accepted into the RRIF Express Program on a first come, first served basis until each source of funding is expended or this notice is superseded by a new Notice of Funding Opportunity. Letters of Interest will be accepted in the order received and will be allocated cost assistance based on the date of acceptance into the pilot program. CRP assistance will be allocated in the order of financial close.

Letters of Interest from prospective RRIF borrowers for the RRIF Express Program must be submitted during the following submission window: From January 13, 2020 to April 13, 2020.

Prospective RRIF borrowers that have previously submitted a Letter of Interest but that also seek acceptance into the RRIF Express Program should resubmit a Letter of Interest during the submission window above and follow the instructions below.

Applicants to the RRIF Express Program must use the latest version of the Letter of Interest form available on the Build America Bureau website  (including applicants who have previously submitted Letters of Interest and who are now seeking participation in the RRIF Express Program).

Letters of Interest must be submitted to the Build America Bureau via email at:  RRIFexpress@dot.gov  using the following subject line: “Letter of Interest for RRIF Express Program.” Submitters should receive a confirmation email, but are advised to request a return receipt to confirm transmission. Only Letters of Interest received via email at the above email address with the subject line listed above shall be deemed properly filed .

Complete eligibility and application information is available via Federal Register Online , or as a .pdf file