Trains For America

More choices for better transportation

Breakdown of states applying for HSR funding

There’s a flurry of news out there about state requests for federal HSR stimulus money. Thankfully, Yonah Freemark over at the Transport Politic has compiled a list of state applicants for federal HSR money, both confirmed and likely. There are the high profile projects on there of course, ones likely to take home a good chunk of that money (California, New York). But the FRA’s calls for projects in the planning phases, which obviously will be asking for less money (for now), seem to have not gone unheeded either, as Pat’s post about Arkansas’ new awakening to the possibilities of fast rail indicates.

This would seem to be in line with the different “tracks” set out in the guidelines for funding requests put out last month. Projects more in the planning phase would receive money out of the congressional appropriations hat rather than the stimulus package.

Of course, not everyone can get funded. How this money is distributed will be a good indication of this administration’s commitment to getting high-speed rail built. Regional political pandering is, unfortunately, an important legislative strategy, but an overemphasis on these types of proposals will leave necessary improvements undone and the country not much closer to a functioning ideal of American HSR.


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One Response

  1. Paul says:

    Here’s ours:

    State outlines high-speed passenger rail plans
    July 14, 2009 11:19 AM | No Comments
    Express passenger trains traveling at top speeds of 220 m.p.h. between Chicago and St. Louis are included in Illinois’ preliminary application for federal funding to build high-speed passenger rail corridors.

    Under the proposal to conduct a feasibility study, the trip would take two hours and possibly include stops in Champaign, Decatur and Springfield, according to the pre-application the state submitted to the Federal Railroad Administration.
    But the top priority is to first gear up to 110 m.p.h. service on three routes: Chicago and St. Louis; Chicago and Milwaukee and Madison, Wis.; and Chicago and Detroit, the Illinois Department of Transportation said.

    “Our goal for these routes is frequent, reliable trips on brand new train sets,” IDOT said.

    The total cost, including projects to reduce freight rail congestion in the Chicago area, is estimated at $3.8 billion.

    Illinois is competing for a share of $8 billion in start-up funding that the Obama administration has allocated to develop high-speed rail across the U.S.

    A second tier of proposed high-speed rail routes that IDOT included in the pre-application are Chicago to Rockford and Dubuque; Chicago to the Quad Cities; Chicago to Moline and Iowa City; and building additional capacity betwee Chicago and Galesburg.

    Full applications are due by Oct. 2 for funding to help the states develop the high-speed corridors.

    But the next deadline is Aug. 24 for states seeking economic stimulus grants to begin shovel-ready projects. Some work on the Chicago-to-St. Louis corridor qualifies, officials said.

    –Jon Hilkevitch

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