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 $7.04 million has been identified for Freight Rail Assistance Program grants and $5 million for Freight Rail Investment Bank loans. However, the programmed amount identified is subject to change and funding allotments will be re-evaluated after completion of the 2023 legislative session and final issuance of the 2023-25 transportation budget. Therefore, funding availability is not guaranteed.

Applications are now being sought for both of these programs. Applications must be submitted by 4 p.m. on September 9, 2022. If a project is selected, funds will be available in July of 2023, if approved by the Legislature in the 2023 session.

Application package (PDF 403KB)

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.

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.

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.

Traction tires are a special type of tire

manufactured with at least 1/8 of an inch tread. Traction tires are usually marked with a mountain/snowflake symbol, the letters M+S or “All Season.”

Carry chains, practice before leaving

Requiring chains keeps traffic moving during storms rather than closing a pass or roadway.

Prep your car. Fill up your gas tank,

pack jumper cables, ice scraper, warm clothing, snacks and water.