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Rail Programs

Capital Assistance for High Speed Rail Corridors and Intercity Passenger Rail Corridors

Funded Amount: $8,000,000,000

Agency: Federal Railroad Administration

Description: The objectives of this program are twofold. In the long-term, the program aims to build an efficient, high speed passenger rail network connecting major population centers 100 to 600 miles apart. In the near-term, the program will begin to lay the foundation for this modernized transportation system by upgrading the reliability and service of conventional intercity passenger rail.

Benefits to Public: This program benefits the public in a number of ways. First and foremost, high speed rail provides a cost-effective and efficient alternative to air and automobile travel, particularly for distances of 600 miles or less. High-speed rail can improve travel options by increasing access to underserved communities and interconnecting communities who are already served by rail. Rail is also one of the most energy efficient modes of transportation, with a number of environmental benefits. For example, by utilizing electric and clean diesel power technologies, rail can result in lower pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions per passenger-mile than other modes of travel. The construction of a high-speed rail network is also expected to support the United States economy by revitalizing related domestic production and service industries.

Beneficiaries: Citizens

Who Select the Projects: USDOT

Read program details in its entirety.

Capital Grants to the National Railroad Passenger Corporation

Funded Amount: $1,300,000,000

Agency: Federal Railroad Administration

Description: The objective of the capital grants to Amtrak authorized by the Recovery Act is to improve and expand Amtrak's fleet, track, bridges, tunnels and signals, as well as improve the safety and security of its facilities. Priority for non safety and security funds is provided to projects for the repair, rehabilitation, or upgrade of railroad assets or infrastructure, and for capital projects that expand passenger rail capacity, including the rehabilitation of Amtrak's fleet. Of the capital grants funding, $450 million was specifically designated for capital security grants. The security projects will focus on enhancements in situational awareness, Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) detection, risk assessment/risk reduction cycle optimization (when vulnerabilities are discovered), and quick response communications within the intercity passenger rail network.

Benefits to Public: Amtrak's fleet and fixed infrastructure (track, bridges, tunnels, signals, etc) is aging and faces enormous levels of deferred maintenance. In addition, the company has been unable to expand system capacity to meet the demand of growing ridership in recent years. The investments authorized by the Recovery Act will allow Amtrak to reduce the amount of deferred maintenance in its fleet, fixed infrastructure and fixed facilities (train stations, storage and maintenance facilities), as well as expand capacity to meet the growing demand for intercity passenger rail transportation. The security investments will assist Amtrak in its ability to detect vulnerabilities and respond quickly to threats on the system, thereby providing a safer ride for its users.

Beneficiaries: Citizens, Community

Who Select the Projects: USDOT

Read program details in its entirety.