The Nation

May 9, 2011 1:51 PM by Jennifer Tobias

$15 billion for high speed trains

NEW YORK (AP) - Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has announced nearly $800 million in projects improve rail service in the crowded Northeast.

The announcement Monday at Penn Station is part of a $2 billion award going to rail projects in 15 states nationwide. It was money originally awarded to Florida but rescinded after the governor canceled rail plans there.

The Northeast's share will be used to upgrade train speeds from 135 mph to 160 mph on critical segments.

He says the money will indirectly improve service on other commuter lines by making shared electrical lines and other infrastructure more reliable. LaHood notes the Transportation Department received nearly 100 applications for federal rail money. He says it's evidence the United States is hungry for better rail service.

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