- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Obama administration asked Congress for $10 billion to invest in high-speed rail last month, but the nearly $11 billion invested since 2009 hasn’t made much progress, The New York Times reports.

Protests, Congress and Republican governors have played a part in delaying projects nationwide, but experts told the paper that a significant portion of the blame falls on the administration’s decision to put the funds toward Amtrak upgrades rather than targeted projects.

Amtrak’s Acela train in the New York to Washington corridor can maintain a top speed of 150 mph for about ten minutes. Meanwhile, China, Japan and Europe’s rails hit an average top speed of 220 mph. 

It would cost $150 billion and take 26 years for the Acela to reach those levels, the paper said.

President Obama made high-speed rail a priority in his 2011 State of the Union address, setting a goal to make systems accessible to 80 percent of the U.S. within 25 years.

 

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