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Rail News: Passenger Rail

USDOT, two states agree to extend California HSR corridor from L.A. to Las Vegas


Last week, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) announced it reached an agreement with the states of California and Nevada to extend the California High-Speed Rail Corridor from the Los Angeles area to Las Vegas.

The 800-mile corridor long has been proposed to run between Sacramento and San Diego with stops in the San Francisco and L.A. areas.

“The extension of the California corridor is another great example of regional cooperation, which will be critical to transforming travel in America and the creation of a national system of high-speed rail lines,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in a prepared statement. “We believe that the development of regional high-speed passenger rail systems will create jobs, spur economic development and provide positive environmental benefits for all Americans.”

The USDOT has issued a high-speed rail strategic plan and recently announced guidelines for states and groups of states to apply for $8 billion in stimulus funds. The department expects to announce the first round of merit-based grants in the fall.

Meanwhile, the California High-Speed Rail Authority — which is overseeing the corridor’s development — last week elected Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle chairman to succeed Quentin Kopp, who chaired the agency for two terms. In addition, the authority elected attorney and former California Assembly member Tom Umberg vice chairman.