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In January 2010, the Obama Administration awarded funding to 13 high-speed rail projects benefiting 31 states. These projects are the first major passenger rail investments in nearly a century and are critical steps toward building a modern national passenger rail system.
These initial projects form the foundation of eight regional high-speed rail networks that will transform our national transportation system to meet the needs of the 21st century. The near-term investment strategy is intended to:
- Advance express high-speed corridor services (with speeds over 150 mph)
- Develop emerging and regional high-speed corridors (90-110 mph and 110-150 mph respectively)
- Improve service and reliability on conventional rail (79-90 mph)
Long-term investment in our rail infrastructure is needed to fully realize the strategic plan for an efficient, high-speed passenger rail network of 100-600 mile intercity corridors connecting communities across America. The federal Vision for High Speed Rail in America would encompass 15,552 unique miles of route, reaching 163 of the 250 largest metropolitan areas in the contiguous U.S., and connecting smaller cities to the largest metropolitan areas.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) provided $8 billion in funding for high speed rail grants to states. In addition, the High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) Program included approximately $92 million in FY 2009 and remaining FY 2008 funds appropriated under the existing State Grant Program (formally titled, Capital Assistance to States – Intercity Passenger Rail Service).
In December 2009, Congress appropriated an additional $2.5 billion for the HSIPR Program. FRA reviewed applications for these FY 2010 funds, as well as for approximately $65 million in remaining FY 2009 funds. FRA also solicited applications for both FY 2010 Individual Projects (i.e., PE/NEPA and FD/Construction) and FY 2010 Service Development Programs.