There seems to have been a huge number of applications for federal high speed rail funds; over $100 Billion so far. Therefore, the House has decided to up the pot of money from $8 Billion to $12 Billion. See below for more:
House passes increase for housing, high-speed rail
By ANDREW TAYLOR (AP) – 5 days ago
WASHINGTON — The Democratic-dominated House Thursday approved generous funding for housing subsidies for the poor and President Barack Obama’s initiative to build high-speed railroads as it passed a $123.1 billion transportation and housing bill.
The measure, approved 256-168, provides a 13 percent increase in total funding for the programs it covers, including $4 billion for Obama’s high-speed rail initiative, which was launched in February with an $8 billion infusion from the economic stimulus bill. Obama had only sought $1 billion in additional money for high-speed and other intercity rail lines.
The earlier $8 billion appropriation has generated a “huge demand” of more than $100 billion in projects submitted by more than 40 states, said Rep. John Olver, D-Mass., the main author of the bill. “We must keep this momentum going,” Olver said.
Meanwhile, US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood said Ohio has a fair shot at some of the money:
Competition is steep for rail stimulus money
Friday, July 24, 2009 2:28 PM
By Jonathan Riskind
The Columbus Dispatch
WASHINGTON – Ohio should have a “strong application” to win federal stimulus dollars for high-speed rail, but also faces strong competition nationally for the money, says Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood.
LaHood said in an interview today that he has spoken “extensively” with Gov. Ted Strickland on at least two occasions about the state’s desire to link Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Dayton with a passenger line heading to Chicago as part of a Midwest rail corridor.
“We will give it good consideration,” LaHood said of Ohio’s application to connect its largest cities via trains that eventually would go 110 mph for $1.53 billion, or via slower trains of up to 79 mph for up to $400 million.
Still, California and states in the Northeast are among other applicants across the country seeking large shares of an $8 billion high-speed rail stimulus pot, so there is “lots of competition,” LaHood said.