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Obama Introduces High Speed Rail Plan
Ten high speed rail corridors were identified today by the White House, including one that is already well on its way in California. Comparing his plan to President Eisenhower's Interstate highway system, President Obama said “My high-speed rail proposal will lead to innovations that change the way we travel in America. We must start developing clean, energy-efficient transportation that will define our regions for centuries to come... High-speed rail is long-overdue, and this plan lets American travelers know that they are not doomed to a future of long lines at the airports or jammed cars on the highways.”
An initial $8 billion from the federal stimulus package and a requested $1 billion a year for the next five years in the federal budget is the first funding avenues identified. By late summer, the Federal Railroad Administration will begin awarding the first round of grants.
The infamous Los Angeles to Las Vegas MagLev plan is not included, but a Pacific Northwest line from Portland to Seattle did make the list. The full list of possible corridors is below:
- California Corridor (Bay Area, Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Diego)
- Pacific Northwest Corridor (Eugene, Portland, Tacoma, Seattle, Vancouver BC)
- South Central Corridor (Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio, Little Rock)
- Gulf Coast Corridor (Houston, New Orleans, , Mobile, Birmingham, Atlanta)
- Chicago Hub Network (Chicago, Milwaukee, Twin Cities, St. Louis, Kansas City, Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Louisville,)
- Florida Corridor (Orlando, Tampa, Miami)
- Southeast Corridor (Washington, Richmond, Raleigh, Charlotte, Atlanta, Macon, Columbia, , Savannah, Jacksonville)
- Keystone Corridor (Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh)
- Empire Corridor (New York City, Albany, Buffalo)
- Northern New England Corridor (Boston, Montreal, Portland, Springfield, New Haven, Albany)
- Also, opportunities exist for the Northeast Corridor (Washington, Baltimore, Wilmington, Philadelphia, Newark, New York City, New Haven, Providence, Boston) to compete for funds for improvements to the nation’s only existing high-speed rail service, and for establishment and upgrades to passenger rail services in other parts of the country.