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DOT makes high-speed grants official

High-speed rail between Charlotte, N.C., and Washington moved closer to reality Thursday after the Department of Transportation officially announced $68 million will go toward funding studies and preliminary engineering for the Southeast corridor.

According to the DOT, the long-term vision would enable trains to travel at 110 miles per hour along the corridor and reduce travel time between Washington and Richmond by one third. Sens. James Webb (D-Va.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) announced earlier this week that Virginia would receive $45.4 million.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation and the Virginia Department of Transportation received the awards as part of $2.4 billion announced by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

"Demand for high-speed rail dollars is intense and it demonstrates just how important this historic initiative is," LaHood said in a statement. "States understand that high-speed rail represents a unique opportunity to create jobs, revitalize our manufacturing base, spur economic development and provide people with an environmentally friendly transportation option."

The northeast region received $198 million. The Northeast Corridor, where Amtrak operates its Acela trains between Washington and Boston, will receive $32.5 million to study and plan an expansion of Boston's South Station and $13.3 million to build 1.5 miles of track and replace a bridge to accommodate faster trains near Wilmington, Delaware, according to the Transportation Department.

The largest award went to California, which received $901 million total, including $715 million to construct new high-speed rail lines. Florida received $800 million for a high-speed rail corridor from Tampa to Orlando.

DOT said the Federal Railroad Administration received applications from 32 states totaling $8.8 billion. The projects are being funded as part of the economic stimulus program.

-- Staff and wire reports

High-speed rail overview

Southeast corridor overview

From the's Post's archives:

High-speed rail in the East? not so fast.

Amtrak unveils high-speed rail vision

Virginia submits high-speed rail request

By Michael Bolden  | October 28, 2010; 10:48 AM ET
Categories:  Transportation News, Transportation Politics  
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