High Speed Rail Money to Florida, New England

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UPDATED: (Alex Goldmark, Transportation Nation)

The US Department of Transportation announced allocations for high-speed rail today. Florida is getting $800 million more for a plan to connect Tampa and Orlando. That leaves the project $360 million short of the needed $2.6 billion...but almost close enough to get started. The project has already received $1.25 billion in federal stimulus funds.

Up north on the east coast, AP is reporting Connecticut and Massachusetts are getting a combined $121 million from the federal government to launch high-speed rail across southern New England. The plan is intended to bring high-speed passenger rail service to New Haven, Hartford, and Springfield, Mass. within five years.

U.S. Sen. Christopher Dodd's office has called this "a major federal investment." The money will go to refurbishing existing tracks, building a second one in parts and to upgrade and construct stations along the way.