Media Kit » Try RailPrime™ Today! »
Progressive Railroading
Newsletter Sign Up
Stay updated on news, articles and information for the rail industry

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

View Current Digital Issue »


Rail News Home High-Speed Rail


Rail News: High-Speed Rail

American High-Speed Rail Act returns to the House

U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton
Photo –


U.S. Reps. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) and Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.) last week reintroduced the American High-Speed Rail Act in the House.

First introduced in 2021, the bill aims to provide $205 billion in federal funding to help jumpstart the construction of a nationwide high-speed rail (HSR) network. The American High-Speed Rail Act of 2024 (H.R. 7600) currently has 25 co-sponsors and was referred to both the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and House Committee on Ways and Means.

H.R. 7600 would provide up to $41 billion per year for five years for planning and construction of HSR and higher-speed rail projects through grants administered by the Federal Railroad Administration. The legislation also would create incentives to spur $38 billion or more in nonfederal funding for the projects.

"High-speed rail is faster, cleaner, safer and better for our economy. It will connect people to more jobs in new places, give Americans freedom and choice in how they travel, and put us on par with the rest of the world," Moulton said in a press release. "We spend vast amounts of money subsidizing planes, which are delayed by weather, and roads, which are crumbling nationwide. We have the chance to think big and think differently."

H.R. 7600 also aims to prioritize the evaluation of HSR grant applicants based on equity, resilience, sustainability, economic development potential and climate; prioritize HSR grants for regions not served by the aviation industry or where the government subsidizes aviation routes; create funding flexibility and transit-oriented development incentives for nonfederal partners, including state and local transportation agencies and private partners; and develop comprehensive, performance-based HSR safety regulations and standards to reduce project costs and expedite project development.

U.S. High-Speed Rail Coalition leaders are encouraged that the bill is back in the House and is mounting support. The coalition seeks to advance investments and policies that help make HSR a reality in the United States.

"[We] will work to ensure this bill is front and center when Congress considers the next surface transportation package," said Andy Kunz, the coalition’s CEO.

The Rail Passengers Association (RPA) backs the bill’s reintroduction, as well. The RPA’s polling shows 78% of Americans want a bigger and better passenger-rail network, said RPA President Jim Mathews in a statement.

"People should have the freedom to choose safe, reliable, fast and environmentally friendly trains as an alternative to congested and dangerous highways and expensive airlines," he said. "The American High Speed Rail Act will not only improve the experience of riders, it will also connect long-neglected communities to the economic benefits fast, safe, efficient mobility brings."

H.R. 7600 also has been endorsed by a number of rail labor unions, including the American Train Dispatchers Association, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employee Division, Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen and International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/13/2024