Rail

Obama proposes spending $53B on high-speed rail

Posted on February 8, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As part of his initiative to use infrastructure spending to jump-start job creation and increase America’s competitiveness, President Barack Obama is calling for a six-year, $53 billion spending plan for high-speed rail, the Associated Press reports.

An initial $8 billion in spending will be part of the budget plan Obama is set to release Feb. 14. If Congress approves the plan, the money would go toward developing or upgrading trains that travel up to 250 miles per hour, and connecting existing rail lines to new projects. For the full story, click here.

House Transportation Committee Chairman John L. Mica (R-FL) and Railroads Subcommittee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) expressed extreme reservations regarding the Obama Administration's plan.

"With the first $10.5 billion in Administration rail grants, we found that 1) the Federal Railroad Administration is neither a capable grant agency, nor should it be involved in the selection of projects, 2) what the Administration touted as high-speed rail ended up as embarrassing snail-speed trains to nowhere, and 3) Amtrak hijacked 76 of the 78 projects, most of them costly and some already rejected by state agencies," said Mica. "Rather than focusing on the Northeast Corridor, the most congested corridor in the nation and the only corridor owned by the federal government, the Administration continues to squander limited taxpayer dollars on marginal projects."

Chairman Shuster added: "The Administration continues to fail in attracting private investment, capital and the experience to properly develop and cost-effectively operate true high-speed rail. They have also ignored my provision in law that calls for competition on money-losing Amtrak routes. The Committee plans to investigate how previous funding decisions were made. I have no problem with sound investments in alternative transportation projects, but selecting routes behind closed doors runs counter to the Administration's pledges of transparency. I am concerned that without appropriate controls to ensure the most worthy projects are the ones that receive funding, high-speed rail funding could become another political grab bag for the President."

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Hyperloop to build full-scale track next year

The Quay Valley, Calif. Hyperloop track will be built using HTT’s tube, capsule and station models. It will be instrumental in optimizing passenger system needs — such as loading, departure and safety considerations — to ensure Hyperloop is ready for larger-scale operation.

Keolis/MBTA make strides with commuter rail snowstorm recovery

Milestones include the completion of snow and ice removal from all platforms and critical rail switches system-wide, as well as the addition of supplemental trains, doubledecker and standard passenger cars to increase capacity and combat overcrowding.

Alstom to deliver to Sydney Citadis X05

Company is responsible for the integrated tramway system, which includes the design, delivery and commissioning of 30 coupled Citadis X05 trams; power supply equipment, including APS -ground power supply; signaling systems, the energy recovery system HESOP, depot equipment and maintenance.

Ann Arbor transit official urged MDOT not to lease railcars

In 2009, more than a year before MDOT signed a contract to lease and refurbish the double-decker railcars, which since have cost the state about $12 million, an Ann Arbor transit official told MDOT the cars were not suitable for proposed commuter rail services because they didn't meet federal requirements.

Hitachi purchases manufacturer of Honolulu's rail system

Finmeccanica owns all of AnsaldoBreda, which is unprofitable, and 40% of Ansaldo STS, which is profitable, according to the report. The two Ansaldo companies formed a joint venture, Ansaldo Honolulu JV, to design and build the 20-mile, 21-station elevated train system for Oahu under a $1.4 billion contract.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

Please sign in or register to .    Close