Blog High-speed rail casualty of budget battle


Photo source: CNN

The last several months have seen President Obama’s high-speed rail plans up against the ropes.

The wounds from ongoing criticism from rail skeptics were beginning to heal (somewhat) when last fall then newly elected governors in Wisconsin and Ohio said they didn’t want federal money for rail. Florida’s decision to rescind money early this year only made things more challenging for the president and supporters (from both parties) who favor high-speed rail.

The knock-out punch–for 2011, anyway–looks like it might’ve come during the recent budget debate on Capitol Hill. From CNN’s, “U.S. high-speed rail program hit by deep budget cuts.”

President Barack Obama’s plan for a national high-speed rail network suffered a serious setback as a result of the fight over budget cuts. No money will be allocated for high-speed rail projects for the remainder of 2011.

For rail supporters, the good news, according to CNN, is that these reductions “will not affect projects already under way across the United States.” 

CNN’s story covers the full issue and includes an interactive map of the proposed corridors, including the Northwest’s Cascadia Corridor. Earlier this month, Washington State applied for $120 million in federal
money (returned by Florida) to “improve and expand Amtrak Cascades service between Portland
and Vancouver, B.C.”

Cascadia Center

Founded in 1993, as the Cascadia Project, Discovery Institute’s Cascadia Center for Regional Development is an important force in regional transportation and sustainable development issues. Cascadia is known for its involvement in transportation and development issues in the Cascadia Corridor, Puget Sound and in the U.S.-Canadian cross-border realm. We’ve recently added to that mix through a major program to promote U.S. efforts to reduce reliance on foreign oil, including the earliest possible development and integration of flex-fuel, plug-in, hybrid-electric vehicles.