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US announces £450M for Northeast Corridor high speed rail

US transportation secretary Ray LaHood yesterday announced nearly $745M (£451M) for construction along the Northeast Corridor (NEC) to upgrade some of the most heavily-used sections.

The NEC will receive £272M to upgrade electrical systems and tracks between Trenton, NJ and New York City increasing top operating speeds up to 257km/h and future maximum speeds of 299km/h. Another £178.5M will alleviate major delays for trains coming in and out of Manhattan with new routes that allow Amtrak trains to bypass the busiest passenger rail junction in the nation.

Pre-construction work between Trenton and New York City will begin in late 2011, with initial construction commencing in 2012. The project is expected to create 400 jobs per year over the period of construction. The Obama Administration is strictly implementing a “Buy America” requirement so suppliers and manufacturers in the US will benefit from orders for over 160km of wire, hundreds of catenary poles, and a large volume of electrical equipment.

Thirty-two states across the US and the District of Columbia are currently working towards high-speed rail corridors.

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