The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has announced that a handful of states will receive a total of $336.2 million from the federal government for a variety of passenger rail projects across the country. Funds will be allocated to California, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and Missouri to purchase American-made trains as part of a continuing effort to expand corridors in the different regions.
The DOT says the additional money will boost total investment in new rail lines to $782 million, which will go towards purchasing 33 quick-acceleration locomotives and 120 bi-level passenger cars. The trains are quite up to the specifications of high-speed-rail, however, only able to reach speeds of 110 miles per hour.
Government officials note that the strict “Buy American” requirement attached to the funds will boost the job market, highlighting the $562 million allocated in June, which they say will create 250 manufacturing jobs in three states. Similarly, officials are claiming supporting rail infrastructure is important now as Amtrak ridership is at an all-time high at around 30 million annually.
Overall, the Obama administration has allocated $10.1 billion to build a stronger passenger rail network, with roughly $6 billion already deployed to a variety of places, including California and Illinois, which have matched federal funds for some projects in their states.