Washington State Loses Out to Northeast on High-Speed Rail

By Erica C. Barnett May 9, 2011

The US transportation department announced how it planned to allocate some $2 billion in windfall high-speed rail funding from Florida, whose Republican governor canceled a federally funded high-speed rail project in that state earlier this year, arguing that the system would cost the state too much to operate.

The funding announced today will overwhelmingly go to Amtrak's Washington-Boston Northeast Corridor, which will get $800 million, followed by $400 million for rail between St. Louis, Chicago, and Detroit, $300 million to link San Francisco and Los Angeles, and $336 million for new trains in the Midwest and California.

Washington State had asked for $10 million to study what to do about the landslides that routinely shut down Amtrak and Sounder service north of Seattle.

The state did get $15 million for one project---building a grade-separated track to carry freight cars in and out of the Port of Vancouver, where freight traffic frequently backs up passenger and Amtrak trains.
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