US transportation secretary Ray LaHood has announced that the US Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has received 77 applications from 25 states for the most recent round of high speed rail grant funding.
Application requests totalling more than $8.5bn (£5.5bn) will be considered for funding from a pot worth £1.5bn in the current financial year. This cash is on top of the £5.1bn already set aside for high speed rail in the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
“The response to our call to transform America’s transportation landscape has been tremendous and shows the country is ready for high-speed rail,” LaHood said. “We have received strong bi-partisan support for President Obama’s bold initiative that will enhance regional mobility, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, ease highway and airport congestion and reduce our carbon footprint.”
The FRA received 20 applications from 10 states totaling £5bn for high speed rail corridor development programs. It also received 57 applications from 18 states totaling £450M for smaller, individual projects within rail corridors that are ready to begin construction.
The FRA will evaluate all the applications to identify the projects that will deliver the greatest public benefits and give American taxpayers the highest return on their investment.
The FRA has set aside around £150M for individual projects within a corridor that is ready to begin construction. Recipients of this funding will be announced in the Autumn.