Durbin Announces Nearly $2.4 Million In Transportation Funding For University of Illinois Transit Project

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), announced today that the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) has been awarded $2,396,981 in funding through the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to support research efforts at UIUC’s Rail Transportation and Engineering Center (RailTEC) to improve rail safety and infrastructure in Champaign, Illinois.

“Illinois serves as a critical part of our national rail network,” Durbin said. “The University of Illinois’ transportation research programs – like RailTEC – have played an important role in the rapid growth in our rail sector, and winning this competitive grant recognizes their position at the forefront of transit innovation. Their work will make rail transit safer and more efficient for Illinois.”

“University of Illinois faculty and students will help the federal government improve the safety of components used in rail transit infrastructure,” said Riley Edwards, RailTEC Research Scientist and Senior Lecturer. "We are honored to receive this award from FTA and excited to partner with many of the key US rail transit agencies with the goal of improving the design and performance transit infrastructure.”


RailTEC is a rail-focused research and education center in UIUC’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE). They will use today’s funding to expand their research addressing issues related to rail transit infrastructure and safety. By working with rail transit industry partners across the country, RailTEC plans to develop new designs for concrete crossties and fastening systems used in light rail, heavy rail and commuter rail infrastructure that take into account their unique loading conditions.