With $8 billion in federal stimulus money allocated for passenger rail projects, the States for Passenger Rail Coalition foresees the beginning of a new era of expanded intercity passenger rail service throughout the U.S.
The projects will expand and enhance passenger rail service in multiple ways, while creating thousands of new, well-paying jobs across the nation.
In addition, President Obama has indicated that another $5 billion can be expected over the next five years, from the administration’s proposed transportation budget.
The coalition, formed in 2000, has grown to include 31 states and two public authorities. At least 35 states are developing plans for expansion of services or new services.
The projects identified by state coalition members are spread out geographically, bringing a significant number of new jobs to many regions. They will also draw on a wide range of labor categories and provide operational and capacity benefits to passenger and freight operations.
Proposed projects include: Track improvements, such as double tracking, welded rail and tie replacement to increase capacity and reliability; sidings to allow fast passenger trains and slower freight trains to pass each other; universal crossovers to provide capacity for shared-use corridor passenger and freight operations; and grade crossing improvements, such as gates and lights.