The U.S. Department of Transportation made available $461 million this week for North Carolina to begin work on high-speed-rail projects. North Carolina moved up to fourth place among states that will spend federal money for faster passenger train service, reports the News & Observer.
The construction is expected to create 4,800 jobs over the next two years and cut the train time from Raleigh to Charlotte below three hours.
“President Obama’s historic vision for a national high-speed rail system will link 80 percent of Americans in the next 25 years and lay the foundation for an economy that moves people, goods and information more quickly, safely and reliably than anywhere else in the world,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement.
“We have made significant progress towards that goal with the signing of a cooperative agreement between USDOT and North Carolina DOT that makes $461 million available for the State of North Carolina to begin work on projects that will reduce travel times and increase reliability for rail passengers, create jobs, and spur economic growth.”
Engineering News Record says the federal funds also will help the state buy and restore equipment to provide a third daily round trip between Charlotte and Raleigh and station upgrades in Cary, Burlington and High Point.
“With this agreement in place, North Carolinians will soon be working on 24 rail projects in 11 counties, including the construction of double tracks between Charlotte and Greensboro and 12 new bridges that will eliminate 30 highway-rail crossings,” LaHood said. Read More.