From Railway Age:
FRA grants eye grade crossings, rail-flaw detection

The Federal Railroad Administration has awarded grants totaling $5.87 million for rail-flaw detection research and grade crossing warning systems in higher-speed territory. Seven states with federally designated higher-speed rail corridors–California, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin–will share $5.64 million to make safety improvements at 25 highway-rail grade crossings on freight rail corridors that host passenger trains. The funds will support the installation of grade crossing warning systems, crossing closures, and other engineering projects to help prevent motor vehicle/train collisions on these corridors, where higher-speed (110-125 mph) passenger trains may operate in the future. The grants are jointly managed by FRA and the Federal Highway Administration.

I don’t know why but the fact that Washington State wasn’t mentioned as one of the many high speed rail corridors has me quite bothered if HSR will actually come to this region. It doesn’t seem likely now.

4 Replies to “FRA and High Speed Rail”

  1. Maybe I’m misreading the article, but it appears that the seven states listed happen to have received money from this particular grant program, not that those are the only HSR corridors in existence.

    $5.87M is not a lot of money, especially split 7 ways. I bet it was just a small program that WSDOT either didn’t apply for or didn’t qualify for.

  2. That is a good point. I should have considered that thought as well. Caught up in the moment I guess =P

    I’ll have to check with the State to confirm that though. That is very interesting.

  3. Part of the problem might be that the Northwest doesn’t have an existing high speed rail project. WSDOT and ODOT seem focused on upgrading the Amtrak Cascades corridor to achieve faster speeds but not a true HSR system such as we’re voting on this November in California. Congress is not likely to spend money for studies on a project that doesn’t yet exist. Of course, such a study could spur the project, but that’s not the way Congress operates today. For better or for worse.

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