NRC COVID-19 Resources and Stimulus Package Breakdown

Railway contractors and suppliers across the United States continue to be hard at work, even as the COVID-19 situation disrupts and threatens life around the world. Your work to provide essential construction and maintenance services on our nation’s freight, passenger and industrial railways is even more challenging in light of COVID-19.

Here are resources and updates for NRC member companies to safeguard your workforce and the general public as you work tirelessly to facilitate the safe and efficient movements of people and goods within and across our nation.

This information will be continually updated as new information is available. If you need additional assistance, please contact the NRC. Our staff is available and working remotely, as mandated through Order 2020-053, issued by District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser.

COVID-19 Industry Resources

NRC Legislative Update: Recap of Historic Stimulus Package as of March 26, 2020

NRC members may have questions regarding the legislation passed and under consideration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly as it relates to rail contractors and suppliers. Here is a summary to date. Please contact the NRC staff if you have questions or suggestions.

  • Bill 1 (passed March 6): $8.3 billion bill focused on COVID-19 vaccine research and development.
  • Bill 2 (passed March 18): $104 billion bill focused on paid sick leave and unemployment benefits for workers and families. Several provisions of are of note to small businesses.
  • Bill 3 (passed March 27): expected to pass House and signed into law March 27): $2 trillion stimulus package, largest stimulus bill ever passed, includes significant transportation and infrastructure funding. Review bill text. A summary of rail-related provisions is detailed below.
  • Bill 3.5: (passed April 24, 2020): Congress and the Trump Administration approved a $484 billion relief package. This includes $321 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, which ran out of by parts of the recent $2 trillion CARES Act. It also includes another$60 billion in economic disaster loans for small businesses, $75 billion in emergency relief for hospitals and $25 billion to increase coronavirus testing. This brings the current total of federal spending on COVID-19 response to approximately $2.7 trillion.  It is expected that another package containing additional economic stimulus support, potentially including funding for transportation-related industries and state & local governments, will continue to be negotiated over the course of the coming weeks and months.Additional potential stimulus measures, including supplementary transportation-focused measures and funds.
    Fiscal Year 2020 CARES Act Supplemental Public Transportation Apportionments and Allocations
  • Bill 4: Additional stimulus efforts, including potential infrastructure funds. On May 15, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the HEROES Act. Action is currently pending in the Senate. HEROES Act Summary.

Bill 3 - Summary of Rail-Related Provisions of Interest to NRC Members

U.S. DOT Operations $31.3 million in budgetary resources to support activities by the Office of the Secretary, Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Federal Railroad Administration, and Maritime Administration to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. Funding would support increased needs for telework and information technology, inspection equipment,and preparing and equipping the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Ready Reserve Fleet,the United States Merchant Marine Academy, and State Maritime Academies.

Amtrak – $1.018 billion to support Amtrak’s ability to operate passenger rail service on Northeast Corridor, state-supported, and long-distance routes, and to protect Amtrak workers. This includes $239 million to assist states in making FAST Act required payments to Amtrak for state-supported routes.

  • Northeast Corridor Grants - $492 million, grantee is Amtrak, awarded via grant agreement
  • National Network - 1) $526 million, grantee is Amtrak, awarded via grant agreement, 2) $239 million to cover the cost of State-supported routes.

Transit – $25 billion for grants to transit agencies nationwide for operating expenses of those agencies to ensure continued operation of transit services. Also eliminates any requirement that transit agencies use their own funds to receive federal assistance and maintains key worker protections.

  • Transit Infrastructure Grants - $25 billion, grantees are transit agencies, awarded via formula, 100% Federal share.Formula is based on the FY 2020 allocations for: 1) Area Formula Grants(5307), 2) Non-urbanized Area Formula Grants (5311), 3) State of Good Repair (5337) , 4) High Density and Growing States (5340).

What our members say…

"Walking the halls of Congress and meeting with members of the Senate and House of Representatives on behalf of our industry is a true privilege. Railroad Day on the Hill has enabled me to build valuable relationships and discuss important rail legislation and pending regulatory issues affecting our industry."

James R. Hansen

Chief Commerical Officer


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