WASHINGTON (AP) — 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.

“These projects will put thousands of Americans to work, save hundreds of thousands of hours for American travelers every year, and boost U.S. manufacturing by investing hundreds of millions of dollars in next-generation, American-made locomotives and rail cars,” Vice President Joseph Biden said in a statement.

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.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (7)
  1. Tax Payer says:

    Never going to happen.

  2. Tim Smith says:

    Obviously not in Florida.

  3. Ray says:

    What a waste of taxpayers money Am-track has been losing money forever and will just be a money loser just another waste of over money.r

  4. Pete says:

    Wait, we are using taxpayer money to construct these railways that will be run by corporate companies and charge Americans a whole lot of money go from LA to San Francisco, all the while raising the price of gas? These train tickets are not that affordable for 80% of Americans. When you factor in that each member of your family must buy a ticket the cost becomes astronomical and it ends up being cheaper just travelling by car, even with the high gas prices. It’s a lose-lose situation. Why not spend the 300Mill on education and get our children onto the railway into the future. If we stop spending on education they will have low payig jobs where they won’t be able to afford the railway tickets.

  5. Marcus says:

    The roads and airports “lose money” every year, too. They cost far more money to build, operate, and maintain than they generate in revenue (which is zero for roads and a pittance for the airports). Yet, where would we be without them? But, trains are always portrayed as some sort of outrageous boondoggle or theoretical liberal nonsense.

  6. mb says:

    This proves that the governor of FL is smarter than the governor of CA.

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