U.S. announces $2.4 billion for high-speed rail

WASHINGTON (BestGrowthStock) – The federal government will send $2.4 billion to 54 high-speed rail projects in 23 states, the Transportation Department said on Thursday, following up on announcements made by members of Congress and governors earlier in the week.

“States understand that high-speed rail represents a unique opportunity to create jobs, revitalize our manufacturing base, spur economic development and provide people with an environmentally friendly transportation option,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in a statement.

More than 30 rail manufacturers and suppliers have agreed to establish or expand bases of operations in the United States in order to build up a network of “bullet trains,” according to the department.

Companies such as Germany’s Siemens and French engineering group Alstom that have already established expertise in constructing the special train cars and rail lines are keenly watching how the states progress with their development plans.

The money comes on top of $8 billion included in the $814 billion economic stimulus plan passed last year.

The United States has primarily focused on building up a system of interstate highways and has lagged other countries in creating intercity passenger rail that can reach speeds over 200 miles per hour.

The federal government received 132 applications from 32 states totaling $8.8 billion, more than three times the amount appropriated, the department said.

California will receive the most money. The state has approved selling $10 billion bonds to build a rail line stretching north to south and already received $2.25 billion from the stimulus plan.

News of the awards began trickling out Monday from members of Congress. Federal law gives lawmakers the option of announcing transportation awards before the Transportation Department.

Below is a list of the states receiving money. Some projects run through more than one state, and a handful of states are involved in multiple projects.

California…………………….. $901.574 million

Florida…………………………….$808 million

Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska……………. $230 million

Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts,

New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode

Island, Vermont, Washington, D.C…….. $198 million

North Carolina, Virginia, Washington DC.. $68 million

Michigan, Indiana, Illinois ………….$161 million

Illinois, Missouri, Kansas……………. $4 million

Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois……… $43.7 million

Washington, Oregon……………….. $38.719 million

(Reporting by Lisa Lambert and John Crawley; Editing by James Dalgleish)

U.S. announces $2.4 billion for high-speed rail