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Pennsylvania seeks $3.1 billion for high-speed rail projects

(The following story by Paul Nussbaum appeared on the Philadelphia Inquirer website on October 6, 2009.)

PHILADELPHIA — Pennsylvania has applied for $3.1 billion in federal stimulus funds to build high-speed railroad projects.

The state Department of Transportation is seeking money from an $8 billion fund established for high-speed rail as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

PennDot requested $489.8 million for upgrades to the Philadelphia-to-Harrisburg section of the "Keystone Corridor." The funding - for track, signal, power, and catenary improvements, and the addition of a third express track between Atglen and Paoli - would allow trains to reach speeds of 125 m.p.h., up from the current 110.

The state asked for $401 million for restoring passenger rail service between Scranton and New York City, along the "Lackawanna Cutoff."

The largest application was for $2.3 billion to design and build the first segment of a magnetic-levitation train line from the Pittsburgh airport to downtown.

The applications were submitted Friday, the governor's office said yesterday.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

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