Trains For America

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Congressional update: House approves $4 billion for HSR

Pat blogged yesterday about Iowa Congressman Tom Latham’s amendment to strip down the high-speed rail funding in the housing and transportation bill to Obama’s original $1 billion rather than the $4 billion that was added in committee. It wasn’t looking good for a while, with HSR advocacy organizations such as the Midwest HSRA and Virginians High-Speed Rail putting out action alerts to their members. Fortunately, thanks to quick responses from those concerned about our nation’s rail infrastructure (or perhaps just the general spirit of the times), the amendment easily failed 136-284.

As The Transport Politic points out, this is a good indicator of the surprisingly high amount of bipartisan support high-speed rail seems to enjoy in the legislature. Maybe this is due to the wide number of states now vying for those funds, or perhaps, pathetically, it’s just the fact that there was no mention of “Amtrak” in the proposal.

If this language makes it through the Senate, that’s a 1/2 increase of the HSR money already allocated in the stimulus package. This runs together with Pat’s anniversary post the other day. If you had told me that the federal government approve $12 billion for high-speed rail with support from a number of likely and unlikely states back when I started in Spring 2008, I wouldn’t have believed you.


Filed under: Passenger Rail Politics, United States High Speed Rail, ,

6 Responses

  1. Gerry Cohen says:

    I think an increase from $8b to $12b is a 1/2 increase, not 1/3

  2. Logan Nash says:

    Ah, you’re quite right, thank you. I was thinking of it out of the eventual 12 rather than the initial 8. Whoops.

  3. MadPark says:

    Lets hope (and lobby for) a 50% increase each year for the foreseeable future!

  4. Cal says:

    Was this just for this fiscal year.? not spread out over 4 years right?

  5. Paul says:

    Sorry – A bit off topic (maybe worth it’s own thread) but Canada seems important to me in terms of connections.

    VIA rail engineers on strike – started today. Effectively, all passenger rail shut down in Canada.

    “We’re sincerely sorry about what’s going on for the passengers, but we didn’t have any other choice,” said Stephane Lacroix, spokesman for the Teamsters Canada union.
    “VIA Rail forced us to go on strike,” he told public broadcaster CBC.

  6. Paul says:

    Here are the dramatic effects of ending passenger trains!

    Sorry, no cars left

    “Well, to rent a car one way from Montreal to Toronto, it’s like $700 in extra fees,” Simoneau said.

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