State rail grant and loan programs
Freight Rail Assistance Program (FRAP) grants and Freight Rail Investment Bank (FRIB) loans are programs designed to support freight rail capital needs. Funding in the FRAP is open to applicants in both the public and private sector, and the FRIB is open to the public sector.
Call for applications
For the 2023-25 biennium, a total of $8.73 million in additional funding has been identified by the Legislature for Freight Rail Investment Bank (FRIB) loans. However, the programmed amount identified is subject to change and funding allotments will be re-evaluated after completion of the 2024 legislative session and final issuance of the 2023-25 supplemental transportation budget. Therefore, funding availability is not guaranteed.
Applications for these loans must be submitted by 4 p.m. on September 15, 2023. If a project is selected, funds will be available in July of 2024, if approved by the Legislature in the 2024 session.
APPLICATION PACKAGE (PDF 430KB)
Freight Rail Investment Bank
The FRIB is a loan program available to the public sector. This program is intended for either smaller projects or as a small part of a larger project, where state funds would enable the project to be completed.
- This loan program is open to organizations in the public sector only, as loans to the private sector are outside the constitution of the state.
- The loan maximum is $250,000 but could be higher depending on the amount of qualifying applications received and the caliber of proposed projects. Additionally, all applicants must provide a minimum 20 percent match.
Freight Rail Assistance Program
The FRAP is a grant program open to applicants in both the public and private sector. This program is directed toward larger projects where it is difficult to gain a contribution and where the rail location or the project is of strategic importance to the local community and the state.
- The amount sought in individual applications is not restricted, but it is based on available funding.
- The Legislature determines how those funds will be spent based upon the applications submitted through WSDOT. The Legislature may choose to increase or decrease the actual funding made available.
- This grant program is open to cities, county rail districts, counties, economic development councils, port districts, and privately or publicly owned railroads.
- Projects must be shown to maintain or improve the freight rail system in the state and benefit the state's interests.
Administration and scoring
The grant and loan programs are administered by WSDOT and require the applicants to provide a business plan for the project as well as a benefit/cost calculation to ensure they are generating public benefits.
Representatives from the Washington State Department of Commerce and other state agencies and organizations will participate with WSDOT in evaluating projects.
For questions regarding the application process -- or to request the application packet in an alternate format -- please contact the Freight Rail Coordinator.