US to invest at least $731m in high-speed train project

The California high-speed train project will receive at least $731 million from a $902-million grant the federal government awarded on Monday for rail improvements across the state.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, $715 million will help pay for the design and construction of a section of the planned bullet train in the Central Valley. An additional $16 million was earmarked for the high-speed rail corridor between San Francisco and San Jose.

“These additional funds are a tremendous vote of confidence for California’s high-speed rail project,” said Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. “I thank the federal government for recognizing the value of accelerating the pace of our project and look forward to the many groundbreakings sure to follow.”

The grant represents the second major installment the high-speed rail proposal has received from the federal government this year. In January, the plan to connect Southern California to the Bay Area via the Central Valley received $2.25 billion made available by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The current round of funding will provide an additional $2.5 billion for high-speed rail proposals around the country and for projects designed to increase the speed of conventional passenger service, such as Amtrak and Metrolink, the commuter line that serves six Southern California counties.

Overall, 18 rail projects in the state will receive federal funding, including $100 million to buy passenger cars and almost $25 million for the installation of an automated braking and train control system from San Onofre to San Diego.

The grant also provides $13.5 million for signal and communications improvements between Moorpark and San Onofre; $10 million for double tracking in San Diego County; and $7 million for signal, bridge and track improvements in Del Mar, a coastal town in northern San Diego County.

Source: LA Times

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