Monday, May 9, 2011

Florida rail money arrives in Washington

Ever since Florida pulled a return-to-sender with its federal high-speed rail money in February, other states eagerly raised their hands for it, including Washington.

The effort paid off. The U.S. Department of Transportation today announced that Washington will receive $15 million of the redirected Florida funds. State officials say the money will help relieve a choke point near the Port of Vancouver along the Amtrak Cascades passenger line. The project will be further leveraged with $18.3 million from the Port itself to build extra track to separate freight and passenger traffic, allowing for more efficient travel.

Washington has received about $781 million in high-speed rail funds from the feds since President Obama launched the program in 2009. The money will improve reliability, efficiency and safety along the Amtrak Cascades route, which saw a ten percent jump in ridership last year.

More about Washington's high-speed rail plans is available here.

Photo by flickr user oceandesetoiles

To read this blog post in Spanish go here.