DOT distributes more high-speed rail funding

California and others promise rail will spur economic development

News Various October 26, 2010
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California received one of the biggest of a group of grants on Monday for its high-speed rail program from the U.S. Department of Transportation, according to Business Week. California’s latest $902 million grant is in addition to the $2.3 billion grant the state received in January.

“As the nation’s largest infrastructure project, California’s high-speed rail system will create hundreds of thousands of new jobs, reduce pollution, boost economic growth and link Californians from one end of this great state to the other,” Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said in a statement.

Other grant recipients included Connecticut ($121 million) where the money will be used to rebuild the 62-mile Springfield-New Haven rail line, the Hartford Courant reported. Gov. M. Jodi Rell said the project would bring new construction jobs and ease the state construction industry’s 27% unemployment rate. The state will need another $100 million to upgrade the train line to high-speed rail standards.

Another $230 million grant went to Iowa and Illinois to establish Amtrak service between Chicago and Iowa City, with stops in the Quad Cities, the Chicago Tribune reported. A separate request from Illinois for funding to study 220-mph rail service was denied.

Virginia received $45.4 million for preliminary engineering and an environmental impact assessment for a high-speed rail line between Richmond and Washington, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. The money is a step in the $1.8 billion the state Department of Rail and Public Transit said it will need to upgrade the rail system to handle 85-100-mph trains.

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