Rail safety has become a nationwide concern since a Norfolk Southern train derailed in Ohio in February and caught fire after spilling toxic chemicals.
WASHINGTON – The Biden administration announced Monday that it has awarded more than $1.4 billion for projects to improve rail safety and increase capacity, with the majority of the money coming from Infrastructure Law 2021.
“These projects will make America’s railroads safer, more reliable and more resilient, bringing tangible benefits to dozens of communities,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement. where there is a railway and strengthens the supply chain for the whole country.”
This money is funding 70 projects in 35 states, and Rail safety in Washington, DC has become an important goal. main concern nationwide since the train carrying toxic chemicals derailed and caught fire in East Palestine, Ohio, in February. President Joe Biden issued an order to federal agencies holds train operator Norfolk Southern responsible for accident, but a package of rail safety reforms is proposed has stalled in the Senate where the bill is still awaiting a vote. The White House also said that The government could shut down because of the Republicans in the House of Representatives will compromise railway safety.
Projects include track upgrades and bridge repairs, in addition to improving connectivity between railway lines and making routes less susceptible to severe weather.
Among the projects is $178.4 million to restore passenger service in the Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi areas along the Gulf of Mexico for the first time since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., said in a statement: “This is an important milestone, representing years of dedicated effort to reconnect our communities after the devastation of the hurricane. Hurricane Katrina”. “Restoring passenger rail service will create jobs, improve quality of life and provide convenient travel options for tourists, contributing to the economic growth and vitality of our region .”
The funding will help restore passenger service to the Gulf Coast after Amtrak reached an agreement with CSX and Norfolk Southern railroad last year to clear the way for passenger trains to resume operating on tracks served by Owned freight railroad.
“We have been fighting to bring passenger trains back to the Gulf Coast since it was knocked out by Hurricane Katrina. That 17-year journey was filled with obstacles and disappointments – but also moments of joy, where local champions and national supporters were able to come together towards a vision of a better Coast region. The Bay is more connected,” said Railroad Passengers Association President & CEO Jim Mathews.
In another of the largest grants, the Palouse River & Coulee Municipal Railroad in Washington state will receive $72.8 million to upgrade tracks and related infrastructure to allow the railroad to can handle modern train cars weighing 286,000 pounds.
A project in Kentucky will receive $29.5 million to improve 280 miles of track and other infrastructure along the Paducah and Louisville Railroad.
And in Tennessee, $23.7 million will be used to help upgrade about 42 bridges on 10 different short-line railroads.