Davis, Kirk, Durbin Announce $1.4 Million in Transportation Funding for University of Illinios Rail Project


Date: Sept. 26, 2013
Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) and U.S. Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) announced today that the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) has been awarded $1,414,100 in funding through the Department of Transportation's University Transportation Center (UTC) program to support UIUC's rail transportation and engineering research center, National University Rail Center (NURail).

"Illinois remains the heart of our national rail network thanks to our ability to innovate and adapt to modern freight and passenger needs," Durbin said. "The University of Illinois' transportation research programs like NURail have played a critical role in meeting the rapid growth in our rail sector, and winning this competitive grant recognizes their position at the forefront of transit innovation."

"Illinois has nearly 40 railroads operating more than 7,000 miles of track," Senator Kirk said. "Because of this, the University of Illinois is well positioned to capitalize on our natural transportation advantage and continue its efforts as a national leader in rail research. I'm honored to join with Sen. Durbin and Congressman Davis to highlight that investment in our research institutions is a bipartisan, bicameral priority."

"In 2011, the University of Illinois' National University Rail Center became the first University Transportation Center to focus on rail transportation and engineering with the objective of improving and expanding rail research, education, and workforce development," said Davis. "This grant will help the university build on its successes and assist the Department of Transportation by providing the research and technology necessary to meet the needs of the nation's rapid growth in passenger and freight rail."

UIUC's NURail is a multi-university consortium that was established in 2012 through a $3.5 million grant through the Department of Transportation. NURail is the nation's first UTC to focus on rail transportation and engineering with the objective of improving and expanding rail research, education, workforce development, and technology transfer. NURail will use today's funding to expand their research addressing rail issues related to infrastructure and vehicle engineering, capacity planning and optimization, operational safety and risk mitigation, systems integration, and finance and policy.