The state Department of Transportation is filing applications tonight for the first batch of federal high-speed rail grants it hopes to receive under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
In preliminary filings in July, North Carolina said it eventually would apply for about $4 billion in rail grants to help build faster and more frequent rail service between Charlotte and Washington, D.C. Today the state asked for a small share of that total in six separate applications for a combined $75.9 million.
The grants include money to upgrade the Cary, Burlington and High Point rail stations, to rehabilitate locomotives and passenger cars, to build a rail passing siding in the Haw River area, to finish engineering work for a proposed line between Raleigh and Richmond, and to conduct environmental studies for proposed rail service extensions in western and southeastern North Carolina.
Pat Simmons, the state rail division director, said the six projects would create or preserve a combined 1,482 jobs in North Carolina, and 25 jobs at locomotive and railcar rehabilitation shops in New York and Delaware. Details of the grant applications will be posted tonight or tomorrow at http://bytrain.org/arra.html, he said.
The Federal Railroad Administration is accepting applications today only for projects that are ready to start. Other projects that can be ready to go by the end of 2009 will be included in a much larger batch of grant applications to be filed by Oct. 2, Simmons said.