The federal budget process is underway, which will determine funding levels for passenger rail for Fiscal Year 2023. A group of 75 lawmakers are urging a key Congressional committee to allocate $3.5 billion for high-speed rail corridor development in the FY2023 budget. This push is being led by House members Seth Moulton, Suzan DelBene, and Jim Costa, and Senator Jon Ossoff.

While the federal infrastructure bill, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), authorized record funding for trains over the next five years, Congress still needs to appropriate much of this funding every year so the money can be put to use. Also, notably absent from the IIJA was a pot of dedicated funding for high-speed rail. We are encouraged that federal lawmakers are working to address this issue.

The letter requests that the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Committee include $3.5 billion for high-speed rail corridor development, with at least $350 million set aside for planning grants, in the FY23 THUD appropriations bill. The goal of this funding is to build a pipeline of high-speed rail projects and to direct funding to true high-speed rail systems. Investing in these advanced and proven transportation systems will support long-term economic growth, quality of life, and sustainability.

The lawmakers who led this effort shared why they support dedicated funding for high-speed rail:

“High-speed rail has the potential to transform this country. Just like the rest of the world, Americans should all be able to travel three-times faster than driving without being crammed into an airplane seat. Yet even with gas prices skyrocketing, we’re still spending huge amounts of money to put more cars on the road, making traffic worse,” said Congressman Moulton. “I hope that we will soon prioritize 21st Century transportation in the United States. China shouldn’t be beating us in modernizing how we move.”

“It’s past time that Americans can travel using the latest rail technology to connect cities, towns, and rural communities in regions like the Southeast with convenient, safe, fast, affordable, and environmentally friendly high-speed rail service,” said Senator Ossoff. 

“Robust investments in high-speed rail will help strengthen our national transportation system, connect our communities, support our local economy, and help decrease carbon emissions,” said Congresswoman DelBene. “We have a tremendous opportunity to fund the build out of high-speed rail infrastructure in the U.S. through the Fiscal Year 2023 appropriations process and with it, increase economic opportunity across the country.”

“We have a significant opportunity to invest in next generation rail infrastructure,” said Congressman Costa. “Now is the time to bring our transportation infrastructure into the 21st century. Investing in modern, clean transportation systems like California’s high-speed rail will generate more good-paying jobs, improve sustainability, and support economic growth.”

You can add your voice to this effort by contacting your representatives right now. With so much passenger rail funding on the line, it’s important that advocates are engaged in the appropriation process every year.

House Letter

Senate Letter

The Latest from HSRA

Our Latest Blog Posts

Check out the latest news, updates, and high speed rail insights from our blog!

What is needed to go fast?

What is needed to go fast?

The speed at which a train can travel is limited by the type of track it travels on. Bringing high-speed rail to North America will require building new high-speed lines that can accomodate frequent 200+ mph service. These new high-speed segments connect to and...

Making Shared-Use Work

Making Shared-Use Work

Change Relationship between States, Amtrak and Railroads Unlike Europe and Asia, most of the rail infrastructure in the U.S. is privately owned. Amtrak and other publicly-owned passenger railroads must negotiate with privately-owned railroads for use of their lines....

Needed Policy Changes

Needed Policy Changes

Building high-speed rail with the Phased Network Approach requires that we change some of the long-standing policy assumptions that have hampered passenger rail in the United States. Today, high-speed rail and conventional passenger rail are seen as two separate...

What makes high-speed rail successful?

What makes high-speed rail successful?

High-speed trains dramatically shorten travel time between stations. This effectively expands the areas that each station can serve.Speed is just the first ingredient Taking a train makes more sense if the travel time is competitive with flying or driving. What...

It’s a Beautiful Country

Let’s see it. Let’s clean it. Let’s build it. Let’s make high speed rail a reality.

Donate Today