High-speed rail announcement may be imminent

Could the Los Angeles-to-Anaheim segment of the high-speed rail route between Anaheim and San Francisco receive some federal funding this week?

Money to build high-speed infrastructure seems a possibility, according to media reports and this nugget that Metro CEO Art Leahy included in his daily email to staff yesterday:

President Obama Expected to Make High Speed Rail Announcement this Thursday

It is widely expected that President Obama and Vice President Biden will make an announcement this Thursday in Florida on the apportionment of High Speed Rail (HSR) funds appropriated last year through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.  That bill included $8 billion in funds for HSR. Florida has requested $2.6 billion for a Tampa-to-Orlando HSR line. It is expected that the Administration’s announcement on Thursday will detail how much HSR funding will be received by the State of California and other HSR corridors across the nation.

The American Public Transportation Assn. today also released a statement praising Obama for his pending announcement on high-speed rail funding. The group says Obama is taking a “historic step forward,” although the exact nature of that step was not specified.

The Washington Post, citing administration sources, is reporting that Obama will make the announcement in Floriday as part of his post-State of the Union speech tour and that parts of 31 different states will somehow benefit from the money.

Here’s a link to a post last week on The Source about Obama’s high-speed rail plans. California has requested $4.7 billion in federal funds to help build four segments of the $43-billion Anaheim-to-San Francisco line and it will be interesting to see what the Golden State actually gets from Washington D.C.