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Rail News Home High-Speed Rail

3/24/2010



Rail News: High-Speed Rail

Washington State DOT awaits HSR grant award, project approval from FRA


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Last week, Washington State Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond sent a letter to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) proposing a list of five Cascades corridor projects that the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) could launch this year and complete by 2011 or 2012. The projects qualify for High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail program funding. The letter also proposed five additional projects that could be launched in future construction seasons.

In January, the FRA announced that the state would receive $590 million of the $8 billion available through the High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail program to launch a series of projects that would enable WSDOT to add two Amtrak Cascades round trips between Seattle and Portland, Ore., improve service reliability and reduce total travel time.

WSDOT had proposed a series of projects in its grant applications, but the FRA has not yet identified which specific projects it would fund. States had to resubmit project lists and negotiate funding with the FRA. Now, the FRA still needs to approve WSDOT’s proposed list, which could happen later this week, according to WSDOT.

The department has two projects that could begin within 60 days of receiving funds: building a D Street to M Street connection in Tacoma, which would cost $34.3 million, and installing positive train control along the Cascades corridor, which would cost $62.3 million.

Later in the 2010 construction season, WSDOT could begin work on a Port Defiance bypass in Tacoma ($91.6 million), yard bypass track in Vancouver, Wash. ($29.1 million), and south corridor reliability upgrades ($94.1 million).

Additional projects that would be ready for future construction seasons include: a new siding in Kelso Martin’s Bluff, $35.6 million; siding extension in Kelso Martin’s Bluff, $37.4 million; Kelso to Longview Junction construction, $126 million; King Street Station track upgrades, $52 million; storage track in Everett, $3.6 million; and the purchase of one high-speed trainset, $32 million.


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More News from 3/24/2010