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Amtrak applies for $1.3bn for high speed rail projects

 From : http://www.breakingtravelnews.com/news/article/amtrak-applies-for-1.3bn-for-high-speed-rail-projects/

Amtrak applies for $1.3bn for high speed rail projects

11th April 2011 

Amtrak is applying for nearly $1.3 billion in recently available high-speed and intercity passenger rail federal funding to move forward with a series of infrastructure improvements—including the Gateway Project—as critical first steps to bring next-generation high-speed rail to the Northeast Corridor (NEC).

“The Northeast Corridor is a premier region in the country to advance the nation’s high-speed rail program,” said Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman. “The Gateway Project improvements to increase passenger rail capacity and access into the heart of Manhattan are absolutely essential to make next-generation high-speed rail a reality,” he added.

A recent decision by the U.S. Department of Transportation to name the NEC a federally designated high-speed rail corridor allows Amtrak to apply directly for this funding.

Amtrak worked closely with its state partners to coordinate project selection in order to maximize the expected regional improvements. Each of the coordinated projects submitted by Amtrak and individual states are vital for the reliability and capacity of the current NEC network, and are critical building blocks for expanded and higher speed intercity passenger rail service.

Specifically, Amtrak is requesting funding for three Gateway projects including for a $720 million project to replace the more than 100-year-old movable Portal Bridge over the Hackensack River in New Jersey with a new, high-level fixed bridge. The Amtrak request is for $570 million with a contribution from the State of New Jersey of up to $150 million.

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