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Senator Feinstein Hails $2.25 Billion Federal Grant For High-Speed Rail System in California

-High-speed rail system to create jobs, spur growth-

Washington, DC -- U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today applauded the U.S. Department of Transportation’s announcement that California will receive $2.25 billion in stimulus funding, under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, to help develop a high-speed rail system in the state.

“Bringing a major high-speed rail system to California has been a dream of mine for many years, and now we’re finally seeing it move forward,” Senator Feinstein said. “This will create tens of thousands of jobs, spur commerce and the rapid movement of goods, curb congestion on our freeways, and reduce greenhouse gases and our dependence on oil.

“This is 100 percent good news. It is testimony to the U.S. Department of Transportation and Secretary Ray LaHood, to the California High-Speed Rail Authority, and to California’s voters, who in 2008 approved a $9.95 billion bond measure for high-speed rail in our state.”

At a news conference attended by Senator Feinstein, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Representative Adam Schiff (D-Burbank), Secretary LaHood announced that California had been selected for $2.25 billion out of $8 billion in federal stimulus funding available nationwide for high-speed rail grants.

The $2.25 billion will be spent on work in high-speed rail corridors linking San Francisco to San Jose, Los Angeles to Anaheim, Fresno to Bakersfield, and Merced to Fresno.

Details of how this money will be spent in each of these corridors will be worked out in negotiations between the Federal Railroad Administration, the California High-Speed Rail Authority and the state of California. Tens of thousands of jobs associated with this project are anticipated, with major work beginning by 2011, according to the California High-Speed Rail Authority.

Plans ultimately call for an 800-mile high-speed rail system, with trains capable of traveling at 220 mph, to be developed in two phases:

  • Phase I: 520-mile system connecting Anaheim and Los Angeles, through the Central Valley and on to San Francisco, by 2020.
  • Phase II: Extension of the system north to Sacramento and south to San Diego by 2026.

California also received $99.4 million for projects to improve Amtrak and inter-city rail service, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced today. They include:

  • $50 million for the Pacific Surfliner, to dramatically improve rail service between San Diego and Los Angeles. This is the second most-heavily traveled Amtrak corridor in the nation. 
  • $29.2 million for work in the Capitol Corridor, between Sacramento and San Jose, the nation’s third most-heavily traveled rail corridor.

Eleven projects creating an estimated 1,450 jobs can begin early this year, according to the California Department of Transportation. (See attached document.)

These Amtrak and inter-city rail projects will improve safety and reliability, and reduce freeway gridlock in Southern California and between Sacramento and the Bay Area.


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