Where Federal High-Speed Rail Dollars Will Take Us

January 29 2010, 12:02 PM

Headlines across the nation are proclaiming that several American cities may soon have high-speed trains connecting them. "Tampa to Orlando high speed rail closer to reality," writes Businessweek. "High-speed rail in California getting $2 billion," declares the Associated Press. The news spread after President Barack Obama announced $8 billion in spending to develop a nationwide high-speed rail system, an investment that could create jobs, boost the economy, and help reduce pollution. Projects and planning involving the rail corridors will take place in 31 states, notes Bloomberg News, which reports that each of the intercity corridors, identified by the administration last year, are between 100 and 600 miles long. Governor Bill Ritter has announced that Colorado will receive a small portion of the funds---$1.4 million---to essentially play catch-up. The funds would create a "sophisticated plan for connecting rail transit systems in Colorado," according to a press release. In all, two grants have been awarded to the state, one to explore how to connect existing rail and another for a required "State Rail Plan," writes the Denver Business Journal.