The RCE program funds projects that improve rail infrastructure to enhance safety, improve the health of communities, eliminate grade crossings frequently blocked by trains, and/or mitigate impacts of railroad operations on underserved communities. The CRISI program funds projects that improve railroad safety, efficiency, and reliability; mitigate congestion at chokepoints; enhance multimodal connections; and improve Intercity Passenger Rail Transportation corridors. Both programs provide funding for highway-rail or pathway-rail grade crossing improvement projects, promoting safety and mobility for people and goods. Communities can use grant funding for track relocation; improve or install protective devices, signals, or signs; improve safety; and conduct environmental audits of eligible projects. Download the grant summary.

Bootcamp Structure


Peer Learning Sessions (Webinars): Interactive sessions featuring Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) on the policy and grant approach, followed by smaller sessions for peer discussions

Coaching Sessions: Smaller sessions that continue to build on specific application questions identified in the peer learning session

Office Hours (Consultant Meetings): Support in the form of designated time slots with our SMEs and your team to address specific questions about your grant application


Navigator Team: Our Navigator team is available to help answer the following kinds of questions:

  • Bootcamp timelines
  • Bootcamp schedules
  • Participation expectations

Our Navigator for this grant is Broderick Smith. He can be reached at

Prepare for Success

Download the full outline of the bootcamp schedule, goals, and key steps to ensure you are ready to attend the following courses and successfully prepare and submit your grant application.

Modules and Recordings

Module 1

Orientation and Grant Overview

Cities will be oriented to the funding program.

View the Module 1 Peer Learning Session
Download the Module 1 Slide Deck

Additional Resources

Fairfield Ohio winning application
List of supporting letters (Fairfield Ohio application)

Module 2

Federal Administration Priorities

Cities will also be able to incorporate climate, equity, and training andworkforce development into their grant applications and demonstrate that they are willing to raise their ambitions inthese priority areas.

    View the Module 2 Peer Learning Session
    Download the Module 2 Slide Deck

    Module 3

    Incorporating Data

    Cities will access and utilize a data platform providing local statistics on issues ranging from health and housing to local economy and environmental issues, as well as other focused variables relevant to their grant application. This module also includes training on conducting equity analysis and developing a strong, data-driven narrative to complement grant applications.

    View the Module 3 Peer Learning Session
    Download the Module 3 Slide Deck

    Additional Resources

    Federal Grant Navigation Equity Dashboard
    Building a Community Narrative Worksheet
    Federal Railroad Administration Crossing Inventory
    NLC Interactive Map - Train Derailments 2012-2023
    Bureau of Labor Statistics Economy At A Glance
    Census Bureau County Business Patterns

    Module 4

    Engaging the Community

    Cities will be able to draft Community Engagement and Advocacy Strategies and understand the audience for advocacy and project strategies.

    View the Module 4 Peer Learning Session
    Download the Module 4 Slide Deck

    Module 5

    Demystifying Capital Sources, Budget, and Service Contracts

    Cities focus on the fundamentals of capital sources, budget, and service contracts and develop a draft project budget with matching sources and potential new sources of funding.

    View the Module 5 Peer Learning Session
    Download the Module 5 Slide Deck

    Module 6

    Telling Your Story

    Cities learn the best practices to produce a compelling grant narrative and package their full grant application.

    View the Module 6 Peer Learning Session
    Download the Module 6 Slide Deck

    Module 7

    Post Submission Long-Term Capacity Building

    Once the applications have been submitted, cities develop plans to successfully administer the grant including how best to (re)organize local institutional processes.

    View the Module 7 Peer Learning Session
    Download the Module 7 Slide Deck

    Additional Resources for All Modules

    Contacts from the Federal Rail Administration (FRA)

    We want to share some contacts from FRA with our bootcamp participants. Make sure to touch base with FRA to help with your rail grant questions:

    Jenny Zeng


    Jamie Renert – Director of the Office of Regional Outreach and Project Delivery

    Bootcamp Calendar