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U.S. unveils plan to build National High-Speed Rail Network


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U.S. unveils plan to build National High-Speed Rail Network

2011-02-09 00:32:30 GMT+7 (ICT)

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA (BNO NEWS) -- The United States Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday unveiled a comprehensive six-year plan to build the National High-Speed Rail Network.

The plan was designed according to President Barack Obama's goal of giving 80 percent of Americans access to high-speed rail within 25 years. The U.S. allocated $53 billion over six years for the construction of the rail network.

According to Biden, the plan will lay a new foundation for the nation’s economic opportunity, job creation, and competitiveness. In addition, the proposal will place high-speed rail on equal footing with other surface transportation programs.

"I understand the need to invest in a modern rail system that will help connect communities, reduce congestion and create quality, skilled manufacturing jobs that cannot be outsourced," said Biden. "This plan will help us to do that, while also increasing access to convenient high speed rail for more Americans."

For the plan's first stage, the U.S. will invest $8 billion in expanding Americans’ access to high-speed passenger rail service during the coming fiscal year. The investment will focus on three types of corridors: core express, regional and emerging.

The core express will form the backbone of the national high-speed rail system, with electrified trains traveling on dedicated tracks at speeds of 125-250 mph (77-155 km/h) or higher.

The regional type will consist on key regional corridors with train speeds of 90-125 mph (55-77 km/h) which will lay the foundation for future high-speed service as well as increasing trips and reducing travel times.

The emerging corridors will be conformed by trains traveling at up to 90 mph (55 km/h) that will provide passengers' access to the larger national high-speed and intercity passenger rail network.

"This historic investment in America’s high-speed rail network keeps us on track toward economic opportunity and competitiveness in the 21st century. It’s an investment in tomorrow that will create manufacturing, construction, and operations jobs today," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

The plan will allow identifying corridors for the construction of world-class high-speed rail, while raising speeds on existing rail lines and providing crucial planning and resources to communities who want to join the national high-speed rail network.

The investment will also use the $10.5 billion down payment which was already allocated to a national high-speed rail system, including $8 billion of Recovery Act funds and $2.5 billion from the 2010 budget.

"The rail projects will connect large metropolitan communities and economies through a safe, convenient, and reliable transportation alternative. They will ease congestion on our roads and at our airports. And they will reduce our reliance on oil as well as our carbon emissions," added the U.S. Vice President.


-- © BNO News All rights reserved 2011-02-09

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