The FY2012 budget submission for FRA's Research, Development and Technology is $95.5 million. The core Research & Development (R&D) component is $40 million. This is an increase of approximately $2.4 million over the enacted FY2010 level. The FY2012 submission also includes $50 million for high-speed rail R&D, which is an increase of $20 million from the FY2010 level.
The core railroad R&D program ($40M) provides science and technology support for FRA's safety rulemaking and enforcement efforts. It also stimulates technological advances in conventional and high-speed railroads. The program focuses on the following areas of research:
The high-speed rail R&D program addresses the important safety risks when the density or speed of passenger trains increases, and the new technology that is needed to realize the vision described in the National Rail Plan progress report, September 2010. Examples of key safety-related high-speed rail research needs are interoperability with existing equipment, and more accurate and optimum track components for shared passenger and freight corridors. Examples of new technology needs for high-speed are track-friendly locomotives and higher speed track inspection methods.
The core and high-speed R&D programs strongly support the Department's key safety goal. Core research into track, equipment and signaling and train control contributes significantly to the state of good repair goal. Track and signaling research makes significant contribution to the economic competitiveness goal by demonstrating the performance of domestically manufactured components. Railroad systems research into alternative fuels and lubricants is directed towards the environmental sustainability goal. High-speed rail R&D contributes to most of the DOT's strategic goals, including a significant focus on livable communities.
The increase in the budget for core R&D compared to the FY2010 enacted level is explained as follows:
The increased budget for high-speed rail R&D ($50M) shown as Capital Assistance for High Speed Rail) is a direct result of the increased funding requested for the development of high-speed rail corridors. Significant investment is required at TTC to ensure the facility is prepared for testing high-speed rail equipment and components. Domestic suppliers of rail technology and products require stimulus funding to ensure they are ready to meet the demands of the future high-speed rail market.
The Volpe National Transportation System Center is a key partner for FRA and supports many of FRA's R&D projects and initiatives. In addition, there are currently nine universities that receive FRA R&D grants, which also directly support FRA's R&D mission and goals.
(In thousands of dollars)
|FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION||FY 2010
|A. Railroad Research and Development||37,613||40,000||7,725||29,425|
|Track and Structures||5,450||5,450||1,550||3,900|
|Track and Train Interaction||3,600||3,800||1,200||2,600|
|R&D Facilities and Test Equipment (F)||2,550||2,850||NA||NA|
|Rail Cooperative Research Program||0||500||500||0|
|Equipment and Operating Practices|
|Rolling Stock and Components||3,000||3,000||300||2,700|
|Hazardous Materials Transportation||1,550||1,550||250||1,300|
|Train Occupant Protection||4,600||4,700||1,200||3,500|
|Railroad Systems Issues||3,623||4,010||1,000||3,010|
|Signals, Train Control and Communication|
|B. Capital Assistance for High Speed Rail Corridors||30,000||50,000||10,000||40,000|
|C. Safety and Operations||3,974||5,454||1,200||4,254|
|1. Salaries and Expenses (R&D)||3,974||5,454||1,200||4,254|
|Subtotal, Research & Development||69,037||92,604||18,925||73,679|
|Subtotal, Technology Investment (T)||0||0|
|Subtotal, Facilities (F)||2,550||2,850|