Obama put a strong focus on this in his State of the Union speech last night — “From the first railroads to the interstate highway system, our nation has always been built to compete. There’s no reason Europe or China should have the fastest trains…. Tomorrow, I’ll visit Tampa, Florida, where workers will soon break ground on a new high-speed railroad funded by the Recovery Act. There are projects like that all across this country that will create jobs and help our nation move goods, services, and information.”
Now, the White House has just announced the 12 rail lines that will receive billions of dollars for HSR in the very near future. If these HSR projects come to fruition, the US may finally be level with Europe and China.
Will this be the start we need to transform our transportation system in the US?
Previously, I wrote about about North Carolina and Virginia’s chances for funding. They were asking for $5 billion out of the available $8 billion. Well, they were awarded funding, but not quite the $5 billion they were asking for. In order to provide funding for a wide variety of projects across the country, no one could get exactly the amount they wanted. NC and VA (together) are receiving $620 million for their projects. California, Florida and the Northeast are receiving the most funding.
- High-Speed Rail Opposition and Support
- China Wants to Connect its High-Speed Rail to Europe (Largest Infrastructure Project in History)
The following pages give a quick snapshot of the projects awarded the funding. For more information on any of the projects, follow the links to the White House press releases.
The Northeast Region is receiving a total of $1.191 billion dollars for thousands of miles of new, upgraded or planned tracks. The projects in this region span 11 states (Maine,Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland) and Washington, DC. The region includes 7 intercity passenger rail corridors.
“The Northeast region currently has the most integrated passenger rail network in the country. The vision for these rail corridors is to invest in projects that will boost speeds, cut trip times and strengthen the system as a real alternative to air and car travel.”