Getting Our Railways Up To Speed
February 08, 2011
12:40 PM EDT
This morning Vice President Biden was in Philadelphia to unveil a key proposal in the President's "Build" plank of his plan to win the future for America, along with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who previewed the announcement on his blog The proposal will place high-speed rail on equal footing with other surface transportation programs and revitalize America’s domestic rail manufacturing industry by dedicating $53 billion over six years to continue construction of a national high-speed and intercity passenger rail network.
“As President Obama said in his State of the Union, there are key places where we cannot afford to sacrifice as a nation – one of which is infrastructure,” said Vice President Biden. “As a long time Amtrak rider and advocate, I understand the need to invest in a modern rail system that will help connect communities, reduce congestion and create quality, skilled manufacturing jobs that cannot be outsourced. This plan will help us to do that, while also increasing access to convenient high speed rail for more Americans.”
The $8 billion investment in high-speed rail the President is proposing just for next year will help revitalize the domestic rail industry, as well as foster innovation and job creation by connecting major population centers. Strong Buy American requirements will create tens of thousands of middle-class jobs in construction, manufacturing, and rail operations.
Communities like Brunswick, Maine are already seeing the benefits of this renewed focus on American infrastructure. For the first time since the 1940s, Brunswick will have rail service connecting them to Portland and Boston. This rail service has led to a major uptick of construction and tourism through town, including a new theater, hotel, and 21st century health clinic.
Brunswick is just one of the success stories that will come from investments in high-speed rail. As we start building for this transportation of the future, it will put Americans back to work and keep our economy growing.