Thursday, December 17, 2009

Rail stimulus funds to bypass Northeast

The Boston Globe in reporting that the NEC has been virtually shut out of $8 billion worth of federal stimulus money set aside for high-speed rail projects because of a strict environmental review required by the Obama administration. Because such a review would take years, states along the Northeast rail corridor are not able to pursue stimulus money for a variety of crucial upgrades.

This is lame but I think the NEC will still get federal stimulus funds for normal track maintenance and upgrades over the coming years. The upgrades may not boost Acela speed but they'll help the regional traffic along the NEC. So this means more trains per hour and fewer delays and perhaps faster times with gains on the order of 5 - 10 minutes as opposed to 30 minutes or more that a real high speed train would see.


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