ABSTRACT

Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) Program [May 15, 2017]   [open pdf - 711KB]

"Congress created the Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) program to offer long-term, low-cost loans to railroad operators, with particular attention to small freight railroads, to help them finance improvements to infrastructure and investments in equipment. The program is intended to operate at no cost to the government, and it does not receive an annual appropriation. Since 2000, the RRIF program has made 36 loans totaling $5.2 billion (valued at $5.4 billion in 2016 dollars). The program, which is administered by the Build America Bureau within the Office of the Secretary of Transportation, has approved only three loans since 2012. Congress has authorized $35 billion in loan authority for the RRIF program and repeatedly has urged the Department of Transportation (DOT) to increase the number of loans the program makes. Reports suggest the uncertain length and outcome of the RRIF loan application process and the up-front costs to prospective borrowers are among the elements of the program that have reduced its appeal compared with other financing options available to railroads. By statute, the Build America Bureau has 90 days from the time a completed application is submitted to render a decision on the application. This timeline becomes uncertain due to the Bureau's discretion in determining when a loan application is 'complete.' A 2014 audit indicated that some loan applications had been in process for more than a year."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R44028
Author:
Publisher:
Date:
2017-05-15
Copyright:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html
Format:
pdf
Media Type:
application/pdf
URL:
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