$15M in HSR Funds Awarded to Texas

The following information was released by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT):

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) announced today that the state will receive $15 million in federal funds to advance preliminary engineering and environmental studies for the development of a proposed high-speed rail corridor between Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston.

On Monday, US Department of Transportation officials released the list of recipients for $2 billion in High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) funds that became available earlier this year.

TxDOT will use the money to fund preliminary engineering and environmental studies for the proposed Dallas/Fort Worth to Houston High Speed Rail Line, a corridor that would connect two of the nation's most populated metropolitan areas. Proposed speeds would be up to 150 mph. This project is identified as a priority corridor in the Texas Rail Plan.

Bill Glavin, TxDOT Rail Division director, said the funding is crucial to advancing high-speed rail projects in the state.

"Texas is fortunate to be selected for this award," he noted. "Money is in short supply and competition is tough. We really appreciate the funding that does come our way."

So far, Texas has received about $53 million in federal rail funds including $34 million to the Fort Worth Tower 55 project for improvements to ease congestion and improve safety and a $5.6 million planning grant for high-speed rail on the corridor connecting Oklahoma City and South Texas.

Additional awards include $4 million in high-speed stimulus funds to adjust signal timing for several at-grade crossings for Amtrak's Heartland Flyer and approximately $7 million from the 2009 appropriations bill to lay additional track along a portion of the Trinity Rail Express (TRE) in Fort Worth. Texas also received $2 million for projects on the state owned South Orient Railroad in West Texas.

More than 90 applications from 24 states, the District of Columbia and Amtrak were submitted to the Federal Railroad Administration with requests totaling about $10 billion dollars.

TxDOT originally requested close to $43 million for two projects--the Fort Worth to Houston corridor and safety improvements on the Trinity Rail Express corridor between Dallas Union Station and the TandP Station in Fort Worth.

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