Other Midwestern states get federal funds for trains

Friday, August 05, 2011

From an article by Candace Lombardi on Cnet News:

Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on Wednesday announced his office is dispersing an additional $336.2 million in funds toward the massive U.S. high-speed rail public works project underway.

This time, the money is going for the trains themselves.

Including this latest release, $782 million has been dispersed for purchasing 33 locomotives and 120 bi-level train cars for California, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, and Washington.

The federal government has now allocated a total of $10.1 billion, set aside via the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009, for the introduction of high-speed rail as well as updates and extensions for urban and commuter rail systems throughout the U.S.

To ensure that the money stays in the U.S. and directly produces jobs, LaHood has made contracts open to foreign as well as domestic companies, but only on the condition that they employ U.S. workers and locate or expand their manufacture facilities within the U.S. to carry out the contracts, according to the Department of Transportation.

The massive public works project has been met with enthusiasm from the majority of U.S. states, happy to get federal funding that could have an immediate impact on jobs during a very dismal economic downturn. More than 39 states and the District of Columbia have submitted requests for funding for various legs of the high-speed railway.