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DOT Announces $300 Million for Passenger Rail Projects

DOT has awarded grants totaling more than $300 million to enable the expansion of high-speed intercity passenger rail corridors from coast to coast.

“We have heard the call of the American people to build the safest, fastest, and most efficient ways to move people and goods,” said DOT Secretary Ray LaHood. “Communities across the country are already feeling the economic benefits of rail, and today we take another step forward, bringing new jobs to our citizens. Through high-speed rail, we are helping America win the future.”

Among the programs receiving federal funds are:

California DOT: Four projects totaling more than $22 million, including $13 million to refurbish 15 locomotives and upgrade engines to reduce emissions; $8.2 million for several coach cars on the San Joaquin Corridor and Capitol Corridor; $950,000 to cover preliminary engineering and environmental work on the Pacific Surfliner to Ortega; and $200,000 to pay for planning of the Pacific Surfliner route from San Diego to Los Angeles and San Luis Obispo.

Connecticut: A $40 million investment to upgrade the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield rail corridor will provide for 10 miles of double track to be installed on the Amtrak-owned New Haven-Springfield corridor.

Maryland/Baltimore Tunnel: For one of the largest choke points in the Northeast Corridor, $60 million will fund a preliminary engineering and environmental analysis to study the replacement and augmentation of the 100-year-old B&P Tunnel on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor.

Missouri: Three projects totaling $3.8 million, beginning with $500,000 for development of a State Rail Plan covering passenger and freight rail priorities. Also, investments of $1.4 million to improve 13 highway-rail at-grade crossings between Sedalia and Kansas City and of $1.9 million for preliminary engineering and environmental analysis to design and construct a second main track from Lee’s Summit to Pleasant Hill.

New Jersey/Portal Bridge: This 100-year-old bridge is one of the most heavily traveled bridges in the country. A $38.5 million DOT grant will provide for the final design of the new bridge to alleviate delays to Northeast Corridor passenger service while also increasing capacity and improving reliability.

Washington State: A $145 million investment will fund rail corridor improvements and new equipment for the Cascades route from Vancouver, WA, to Blaine, WA. This will ultimately provide more frequent and efficient passenger rail service between Portland, OR, and Vancouver, BC.

Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority: A $600,000 grant will support a study to examine the feasibility of expanding the Downeaster line with increased service frequency, higher speeds, and reduced travel times. The study will also examine expanding the proposed service extension to Brunswick and Auburn, ME.

New York: A $3.3 million investment will add track and rail capacity in the congested Upstate New York area for Amtrak’s Adirondack and Ethan Allen Express services near the Village of Ballston Spa.

West Virginia: $1 million will create a state rail plan to establish strategies for rail services that benefit the public and businesses, while guiding priorities for the state’s investments in rail.

To date, approximately $5.7 billion has been obligated throughout the country for rail projects funded by the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act and annual appropriations.
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