The Obama administration plans to spend $53 billion on developing and improving high speed rail over the next six years. The president’s 2012 budget, which will be released next week, seeks $8 billion for this plan. In his State of the Union address, Obama announced a plan to provide 80 percent of Americans access to high speed rail in the next 25 years.
Vice President Joe Biden and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood made the spending announcement at a Philadelphia’s 30th street train station. LaHood called the investment one that “keeps us on track toward economic opportunity and competitiveness in the 21st century. It’s an investment in tomorrow that will create manufacturing, construction, and operations jobs today.” Obama’s plan focuses on investing in express rail systems which travel at speeds 250 miles per hour or higher as well as regional and national high speed rail trains.