May 25, 2022

Moulton, DelBene, Costa, Ossoff Lead Bicameral, Bipartisan Push for High-Speed Rail Funding

75 Lawmakers request $3.5 billion for FY2023

Washington, D.C.– A group of 75 lawmakers—including 65 House members led by Reps. Seth Moulton, Suzan DelBene, and Jim Costa, and 10 Senators led by Senator Jon Ossoff—are urging Congressional appropriators to allocate $3.5 billion for high-speed rail corridor development in the FY2023 budget. 

Despite the various economic, environmental, and safety benefits offered by high-speed rail, the U.S. has not prioritized a serious investment in high speed rail.

In contrast, peers like the EU, UK, and Japan have invested in high-speed rail systems that support commerce, quality of life, and environmental sustainability. Most recently, China has made massive and rapid investments in its own high-speed rail infrastructure, building the largest national network in the world.

“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.”

Dedicated funding for high speed rail has not been sought in an annual appropriations package since it was last appropriated for Fiscal Year 2010. The letter also requests language that would help focus investment on world-class service and commit 10 percent of funding to planning a pipeline of projects across the country.

In March 2021, Congressman Moulton introduced the American High-Speed Rail Act, which would invest $205 billion federal dollars into high-speed rail and create at least 2.6 million American jobs over five years. 

The House letter can be found here. The Senate version can be found here

A coalition of stakeholders also weighed in with support for the request: 

Ezra R. Silk, Political Director, U.S. High Speed Rail Coalition:
"In 2009, Congress appropriated $2.5 billion for high-speed rail. The goal was to provide ongoing, annual funding to build out this incredible mode of transportation across America. This letter demonstrates that a broad coalition inside and outside of Congress is ready to jumpstart the national high-speed rail program and provide the reliable, annual support we need to catch up with the rest of the developed world."   

Jim Mathews, President & CEO, Rail Passengers Association
“Electrified high-speed rail corridors are a necessary element of any plan to dramatically expand access to passenger rail in the U.S. By providing dedicated funding for these types of projects, Congress can accelerate the work that will allow Americans to choose a safe, clean and energy-efficient alternative to congested highways and crowded airports. We applaud the leadership shown by Representatives Moulton, Fitzpatrick and this entire coalition. America’s rail passengers urge Congress to set aside $3.5 billion in the fiscal 2023 appropriations bill for high-speed rail.”

Patty Long, President, Railway Supply Institute
“Federal investments in high-speed rail help support more than 125,000 American jobs in the railway supply industry. RSI strongly supports this funding request to promote economic growth, improve sustainability, and increase U.S. competitiveness.”

Jim Wunderman, President and CEO, Bay Area Council
“High-speed rail is not only good for our economy and the environment, it’s essential for advancing U.S. economic competitiveness, improving mobility and providing stronger connections throughout the country without adding to our climate crisis. It’s long past time for the U.S. to do what so many other countries around the world have already done and invest in the next generation of transportation infrastructure.”

The full list of endorsers includes: AECOM; AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department, Bay Area Council; Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET); Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division (BMWED); Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen; Cascadia Rail; High Speed Rail Alliance; HNTB; I-20x High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail; I-75 Central Corridor Coalition; International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE); Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA); National Conference of Firemen & Oilers 32BJ SEIU; Rail Passengers Association; Railway Supply Institute; Rod Diridon, Co-Chair, U.S. High Speed Rail Coalition; Siemens USA; Teamsters Rail Conference; Transportation Economics & Management Systems, Inc. (TEMS); TITAN Freight Systems; U.S. High Speed Rail Coalition.