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Department of Transportation Announces $8.2 Billion in Funds for Passenger Rail Upgrades

Dec. 11, 2023
The Department of Transportation offered details on 10 projects in nine states ready for construction and 69 corridors across 44 states identified for future development.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced on Dec. 9 that it has awarded $8.2 billion for 10 passenger rail projects across the country. In addition, DOT said it’s in the middle of corridor planning activities that will impact many regions of the United States. This investment in America’s nationwide intercity passenger rail network builds on a $16.4-billion investment announced last month for 25 projects of national significance along America’s busiest rail corridor. To date, the Biden-Harris Administration has announced nearly $30 billion in investments for our nation’s rail system. 

The press release said projects announced through the Federal State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail (Fed-State National) Program will advance two high-speed rail corridors and fund improvements to existing rail corridors for expanded service and performance. These investments will help deliver high-speed rail service in California's Central Valley and create a brand-new high-speed rail corridor between Las Vegas, Nevada, and southern California, serving an estimated 11 million passengers annually. In addition, DOT plans to upgrade the following existing conventional rail corridors:

  • Upgrade existing rail corridors to better connect Northern Virginia and the Southeast with the Northeast Corridor
  • Expand and add frequencies to the Pennsylvania Keystone Corridor between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh
  • Extend the Piedmont Corridor in North Carolina north, as part of a higher-speed connection between Raleigh and Richmond, Virginia
  • Invest in Chicago Union Station, as an initial step toward future improvements to the critical Midwest corridors hub
  • Improve service in Maine, Montana and Alaska

At the same time, FRA is announcing 69 corridor selections across 44 states through the Corridor Identification and Development (Corridor ID) Program, which will drive future passenger rail expansion. Corridor ID, a new planning program made possible by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will help guide intercity passenger rail development throughout the country.

This inaugural round of selections aims to upgrade 15 existing rail routes, add or extend service on 47 new routes, and advance 7 new high-speed rail projects, creating a pipeline of intercity passenger rail projects ready for implementation and future investment. FRA will work closely with states, transportation agencies, host and operating railroads, and local governments to develop and build passenger rail projects faster than ever before.

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