US to invest US$ 8 billion in high speed rail

29 January 2010

The US government has committed US$ 8 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for the development of high speed rail in the US.

Secretary of transportation, Ray LaHood said, "With this historic investment by President Obama, we are jump-starting American high-speed rail."

The bulk of the funding will go to new, large-scale programmes. Mr LaHood confirmed that US$ 1.25 billion will be used to develop a 140 km long high speed rail corridor in Florida between Tampa and Orlando, while in California US$ 2.25 billion will be invested in a 440 km link to connect Los Angeles and San Francisco.

In addition to investment in 13 high speed rail corridors, grants have also been awarded for the improvement of existing rail lines, tunnels and bridges in 31 States as well as the District of Columbia. "Investment in these routes will lay the groundwork for future high-speed and intercity rail development," said Mr LaHood. "We cannot just put faster trains on old tracks and send them across bridges that need repairs. With these targeted investments, passengers will see real benefits in the near term."

Mr LaHood said, "I am very proud of what our transportation infrastructure helps us achieve every day, but it's not good enough. It's the infrastructure of a previous century and it's not adequate for the growth of our nation's population, its commerce or its mobility.

"We need an expansive, safe and energy efficient rail transportation network. We need to generate economic development. We need to reposition our infrastructure for the 21st century.

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