Yesterday Ray LaHood, Secretary of the Department of Transportation (DOT), announced awards totaling $2 billion dollars for high speed rail infrastructure. In the press release from DOT, the money will go to the “Northeast Corridor, expand service in the Midwest, and provide new, state-of-the-art locomotives and rail cars.” 15 states and Amtrak were among those selected to receive the funds out of the 24 states, Washington DC, and Amtrak that submitted applications for the grants.
In the press release, Vice-President Biden is quoted as saying the “‘projects will put thousands of Americans to work, save hundreds of thousands of hours for American travelers every year, and boost U.S. manufacturing by investing hundreds of millions of dollars in next-generation, American-made locomotives and railcars.’”
Here are some of the details regarding the division of the investment:
The Department’s Federal Railroad Administration selected 15 states and Amtrak to receive $2.02 billion for 22 high-speed intercity passenger rail projects as part of a nationwide network that will connect 80 percent of Americans to high-speed rail in 25 years. The dedicated rail dollars will:
• Make an unprecedented investment in the Northeast Corridor (NEC), with $795 million to upgrade some of the most heavily-used sections of the corridor. The investments will increase speeds from 135 to 160 miles per hour on critical segments, improve on-time performance and add more seats for passengers.
• Provide $404.1 million to expand high-speed rail service in the Midwest. Newly constructed segments of 110-mph track between Detroit and Chicago will save passengers 30 minutes in travel time and create nearly 1,000 new jobs in the construction phase. Upgrades to the Chicago to St. Louis corridor will shave time off the trip, enhance safety and improve ridership.
• Boost U.S. manufacturing through a $336.2 million investment in state-of-the-art locomotives and rail cars for California and the Midwest. “Next Generation” rail equipment will deliver safe, reliable and high-tech American-built vehicles for passenger travel.
• Continue laying the groundwork for the nation’s first 220-mph high-speed rail system in California through a $300 million investment, extending the current 110 mile segment an additional 20 miles to advance completion of the Central Valley project, the backbone of the Los Angeles to San Francisco corridor.