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The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) last week published its first multi-state planning study for a comprehensive, high-speed passenger-rail network in six Southwest states.Developed with regional stakeholders and state agencies, the study examines connections to emerging rail markets in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah. The study is the first time the FRA has pursued a multistate rail planning effort, and it will serve as a model for future regional planning efforts, administration officials said in a press release."Planning is the fundamental bedrock to being ready to compete for federal funding as it becomes available," said Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Szabo. "The Southwest study provides a new regional model for other states and regions to follow as they prepare for future passenger and freight rail development."Stakeholders involved in the effort included state departments of transportation, metropolitan planning organizations, local governments, transit agencies, Amtrak, freight railroads and private rail developers.
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