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Rail News: High-Speed Rail

President Bush to sign high-speed legislation included in rail safety bill, Mica says


President Bush is expected to sign legislation that would allow the private sector to develop, finance, operate and maintain high-speed passenger rail service in the United States, Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) announced yesterday.

Originally proposed as the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 (H.R. 6003), the legislation — introduced earlier this year by Mica and other Transportation and Infrastructure Committee members — was included in the Rail Safety Enhancement Act of 2008 (H.R. 2095/S. 1889) passed by Congress on Wednesday.

Upon enactment, the U.S. transportation secretary would have 60 days to issue a request for proposals from the private sector for the 11 federally designated high-speed rail corridors. Local governors and mayors, freight and commuter railroads, labor organizations and Amtrak will evaluate the proposals for each corridor.

The U.S. Department of Transportation then will report its recommendations to Congress, beginning with the proposals for the Northeast Corridor. Congress will be responsible for prompting action on any of the selected proposals.


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More News from 10/3/2008