US to build $53 bn high-speed rail network

February 9th, 2011 - 6:52 am ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Washington, Feb 9 (IANS) The US will build a high-speed rail network worth $53 billion as part of a new investment plan for the infrastructure sector unveiled by Vice President Joe Biden Tuesday, Xinhua reported.The plan aims to fulfil President Barack Obama’s goal of giving 80 percent of Americans access to high-speed rail within 25 years.

“As President Obama said in his State of the Union (address), there are key places where we cannot afford to sacrifice as a nation — one of which is infrastructure,” Biden said during a visit to Philadelphia.

“As a long-time Amtrak rider and advocate, 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.

“This plan will help us to do that, while also increasing access to convenient high-speed rail for more Americans,” the vice president added.

As the first step in this initiative, the White House budget for the coming fiscal year would invest $8 billion in expanding Americans’ access to high-speed passenger rail service, he announced.

The Obama administration has already devoted $10.5 billion to build a high-speed rail system, including $8 billion of Recovery Act funds and $2.5 billion from the 2010 budget.

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