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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

U.S. Rep. Moulton introduces high-speed rail legislation

Seth Moulton
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U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) has introduced the American High-Speed Rail Act  just as Congress turns its focus to infrastructure.

The bill would invest $205 billion into high-speed rail, create at least 2.6 million direct American jobs over five year, and provide Americans with a new travel option that’s safer than driving, cleaner than flying and never delayed by weather, Moulton said in a press release.

U.S. Reps. Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.), Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.), and Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) joined Moulton as original sponsors of the bill. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Teamsters Rail Conference, Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employee Division, and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen have endorsed the bill.

The bill follows a 30-page white paper Moulton released last year, in which he outlined a vision for building U.S. high-speed rail and the benefits of doing so. 

The bill includes plans for:

  • investing $41 billion annually in high-speed and higher-speed rail through grants administered by the Federal Railroad Administration over five years, with incentives for $38 billion or more in non-federal funding;
  • prioritizing the evaluation of high-speed rail grant applicants based on equity, resilience, sustainability, economic development potential and climate;
  • prioritizing high-speed rail grants for regions not serviced by the aviation industry or where the government subsidizes aviation routes;
  • creating funding flexibility and transit-oriented development incentives for non-federal partners, including state and local transportation agencies and private partners; and
  • developing comprehensive, performance-based safety regulations and standards for high-speed rail to reduce project costs and expedite development.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/22/2021