Notice of Funding Opportunity: Railroad Rehabilitation & Improvement Financing

Notice of Funding Opportunity for Letters of Interest for the RRIF Express Pilot Program Under the Railroad Rehabilitation & Improvement Financing Program

The Office of the Secretary of Transportation, U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has issued a notice of funding opportunity. The 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” or “Bureau”). The overall RRIF program finances development of railroad infrastructure, and is authorized to have up to $35 billion in outstanding principal amounts from direct loans and loan guarantees at any one time.

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the RRIF Express Program on a first come, first served basis until each source of funding is expended or this notice is superseded by a new Notice of Funding Opportunity.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. For more information about potential financial assistance for RRIF Express applicants, see Supplementary Information: Section II. Funding of CRP and Cost Assistance.

This notice solicits Letters of Interest from prospective RRIF borrowers seeking acceptance into the RRIF Express Program, establishes eligibility criteria and describes the process that prospective borrowers must follow when submitting Letters of Interest.

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.