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Amtrak, 15 states get $2 billion that Florida lost

(The Associated Press circulated the following on May 9, 2011.)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Amtrak and rail projects in 15 states are being awarded the $2 billion that Florida lost after the governor canceled plans for high-speed train service, the Department of Transportation said Monday.

The largest share of the money — nearly $800 million — will be used to upgrade train speeds from 135 mph to 160 mph on critical segments of the heavily traveled Northeast corridor, the department said in a statement..

Another $404 million will go to expand high-speed rail service in the Midwest, including newly constructed segments of 110-mph track between Detroit and Chicago that are expected to save passengers 30 minutes in travel time.

Nearly $340 million will go toward state-of-the-art locomotives and rail cars for California and the Midwest. California will also get another $300 million toward trains that will travel up to 220 mph between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

President Barack Obama has sought to make creation a national network of high-speed trains a signature project of his administration. He has said he wants to make fast trains accessible to 80 percent of Americans within 25 years.

The money — initially $2.4 billion — had been awarded to Florida for high-speed trains between Tampa and Orlando. After Gov. Rick Scott canceled the project, the Transportation Department invited other states to bid for the funds. It received 90 applications seeking a total of $10 billion.

Full story: www.google.com

Monday, May 9, 2011

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