Quoting from Rick Harnish, Executive Director of the Midwest High Speed Rail Association:

The House passed the conference report of the stimulus package today. The Senate is expected to pass it over the weekend.

The conference report contains a very exciting surprise. The appropriation for intercity passenger rail was increased to $9.3 billion!

President Obama, Senator Durbin from Illinois and Congressman Oberstar from Minnesota were directly involved in getting the number increased. We are very thankful for their efforts.

Thanks to everyone who has made phone calls and sent emails.

This is an important opportunity for the Upper Midwest Region to re-connect itself. Now we begin the work of ensuring that our state and local governments take full advantage that opportunity.

Here is a break down of the transportation funds:

  • $27.5 billion for highway investments.
  • $8.4 billion for public transportation.
  • $1.5 billion for competitive grants to state and local governments.
  • $1.3 billion for the air transportation system.
  • $9.3 billion for rail transportation, including Amtrak, High Speed and Intercity Rail.

This is the breakdown for intercity passenger rail:

  • $8 billion for capital assistance for HSR Corridors and Intercity Passenger Rail Service.

    “The conferees have provided the Secretary flexibility in allocating resources between the programs to advance the goal of deploying intercity high speed rail systems in the U.S.”

  • $1.3 billion for Amtrak. Of this, $450 million is earmarked for security and life safety improvements. The remaining $850 million is intended for projects that will increase capacity, including rolling stock rehabilitation. No more than 60% of these funds can be spent in the Northeast Corridor.