The U.S. Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has awarded USD 8.2 billion for 10 intercity passenger rail across the country while announcing corridor planning activities that will impact every region nationwide.
Projects announced through the Federal State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail (Fed-State National) programme will advance two high-speed rail corridors and fund improvements to existing rail corridors for expanded service and performance. These investments will deliver high-speed rail service in California’s Central Valley, will create a brand-new high-speed rail corridor between Las Vegas, Nevada, and southern California, serving an estimated 11 million passengers annually. The projects will make major upgrades to existing conventional rail corridors to better connect Northern Virginia and the Southeast with the Northeast Corridor, will expand and add frequencies to the Pennsylvania Keystone Corridor between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, will extend the Piedmont Corridor in North Carolina north, as part of a higher-speed connection between Raleigh and Richmond, Virginia. The projects will also invest in Chicago Union Station, as an initial step toward future improvements to the critical Midwest corridors hub and will improve service in Maine, Montana, and Alaska.
The announced investment will “deliver the passenger rail system that Americans have been calling for – with USD 8.2 billion for faster, more reliable, expanded train service across the country. With this funding, we’ll deliver America’s first high-speed rail on a route between Southern California and Las Vegas, complete major upgrades for riders in Virginia, North Carolina, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Maine, Montana, and Alaska, and announce a comprehensive plan that makes it easier to expand passenger rail lines in 44 states,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said.
At the same time, FRA is announcing 69 corridor selections across 44 states through the Corridor Identification and Development (Corridor ID) programme 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.
The unprecedented investment in America’s nationwide intercity passenger rail network builds on a USD 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 USD 30 billion in investments for country’s rail system.