Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Rail Projects Proposed for Stimulus Package

States for Passenger Rail wants Congress to include $1.4 billion in a new economic stimulus package for projects to improve passenger rail infrastructure. The legislation is expected to be debated this week.

In a news release, the group, which promotes "development, implementation and expansion of intercity passenger rail services with involvement and support from state governments," says it has identified "ready-to-go" projects where the money could be put to immediate use. The projects are in 16 states. They range from grade crossing and signal improvements to entire new routes. Highlights include:
  • Corridor development between New Orleans and Baton Rouge via the Kansas City Southern ($110 million).
  • Extending Amtrak's Downeaster line north of Portland, ME ($33.9 million).
  • Purchasing DMU (diesel multiple unit) rolling stock for Vermont ($23 million).
  • Restoring Amtrak's Vermonter to the Connecticut River line (former Boston & Maine) north of Springfield, MA ($25 million).

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