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Biden Administration Announces $8B In High-Speed Rail Funding


The Biden administration announced the disbursement of $8.2B through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act for 10 major passenger rail projects nationwide.

The funding includes about $3B for a high-speed rail connection between California and Nevada and about $3B for a line through California's Central Valley that will eventually connect Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The Las Vegas-SoCal high-speed rail line is slated for completion in 2028. In an April letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Nevada and California lawmakers expressed support for the project.

The California high-speed rail line has had a much tougher go, delayed by lawsuits and other pushback, with progress inching along in recent years. This year, a handful of structures were completed along the first 119 miles of construction, and more than 400 miles of the 500-mile project are now environmentally cleared, according to the California High-Speed Rail Authority.

High-speed rail includes passenger trains that travel as fast as 220 mph, and they have existed in other parts of the world, including Japan and Europe, for decades. The fastest U.S. trains are the 125 mph Brightline in Florida and the 150 mph Amtrak Acela in the Northeast.


The federal money will also be used to upgrade popular rail corridors in Virginia, North Carolina and the District of Columbia, as well as expanding capacity at Chicago Union Station. The funding is the latest in a total of $30B for U.S. rail projects.

There is some evidence that high-speed rail, by connecting places more efficiently, takes some of the heat off of rising housing prices in expensive housing markets by allowing workers to live farther from those markets, according to a study released in 2018 by UCLA and others.