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Midwestern states submit $11.6 billion in applications for ARRA passenger rail funding

According to information gathered by the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission (MIPRC), eight Midwestern states have submitted applications to receive federal funding for the development of passenger rail corridors. Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin met the Oct. 2 deadline for submitting applications for multi-year passenger rail corridor program funding from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) under its High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail program. Together, these states asked for almost $10 billion in “Track 2” funding to fully develop corridors and purchase train sets for new service.

This is in addition to the $1.6 billion in project and planning grant applications that Midwestern states submitted by August 24 (the deadline for Tracks 1, 3 & 4 applications as set by the FRA). Funding requests between Track 2 and the other application tracks are not necessarily mutually exclusive, though. Applications submitted earlier for specific projects may also be included in the Track 2 submissions.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, signed into law by President Obama in February, provided $8 billion for state passenger rail capital investments. In June, the FRA issued interim application guidance for awarding the funding available for this first significant federal investment in state passenger rail development.

The guidance established four “tracks” under which states could submit applications. The “Track 2” applications had the latest deadline (October 2). These applications are typically multi-year plans for fully developing a specific corridor to enable new and/or high-speed passenger service.

Yesterday, FRA Administrator Joseph Szabo announced he was moving the deadline for announcing awards. “Due to the overwhelming response and our desire to lay the groundwork for a truly national high-speed and intercity passenger rail program, we will be announcing all awards this winter,” he said in a statement.

The MIPRC press release includes a chart listing all the Midwestern states' applications, the level of federal funding requested and the dollar amount of any non-federal match offered. To read the full MIPRC press release and access the chart, click here.

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Secretariat services provided by The Council Of State Governments' Midwestern Office.