U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced $2 billion in high-speed rail awards providing an unprecedented investment to speed up trains in the Northeast Corridor, expand service in the Midwest and provide new, state-of-the-art locomotives and rail cars as part of the administration’s plan to transform travel in America.
Twenty-four states, the District of Columbia and Amtrak submitted nearly 100 applications, competing to be part of a historic investment that will create tens of thousands of jobs, improve mobility and stimulate American manufacturing.
"Earlier this year, President Obama and I made a commitment to improve and expand America's transportation system, including the development of a modern national high-speed rail network," said Vice President Biden. "And today, we’re announcing investments that will continue our progress toward making this vision a reality. These 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."
“President Obama and Vice President Biden’s vision for a national rail system will help ensure America is equipped to win the future with the fastest, safest and most efficient transportation network in the world,” said Secretary LaHood. “The investments we’re making today will help states across the country create jobs, spur economic development and boost manufacturing in their communities.”
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% of Americans to high-speed rail in 25 years.
Nearly 100% of the $2.02 billion announced will go directly to construction of rail projects, bringing expanded and improved high-speed intercity passenger rail service to cities in all parts of the country. Thirty-two states across the U.S. and the District of Columbia are currently laying the foundation for high-speed rail corridors to link Americans with faster and more energy-efficient travel options.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) and annual appropriations have, to date, provided $10.1 billion to put America on track toward providing rail access to new communities and improving the reliability, speed and frequency of existing lines. Of that, approximately $5.8 billion has already been obligated for rail projects.
A strict “Buy America” requirement for high-speed rail projects ensures that U.S. manufacturers and workers will receive the maximum economic benefits from this federal investment. In 2009, LaHood secured a commitment from 30 foreign and domestic rail manufacturers to employ American workers and locate or expand their base of operations in the U.S. if they are selected for high-speed-rail contracts.