ENVIRONMENT
05/11/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

What's Keeping The US From High-Speed Rail?

Yet President Barack Obama, intent on harnessing new technology to rebuild the devastated economy, made a last-minute allocation of $8 billion for high-speed rail in his mammoth stimulus plan.

It sounds good, but that amount isn't enough to build a single system, or to dramatically increase existing train speeds, transportation experts say.

California is the only state with an active project, and its proposed cost is more than five times the stimulus amount. The $42 billion plan is far from shovel ready -- it's still seeking local approvals -- but it's farther down the track than any other state with an outstretched hand for a slice of Obama's high-speed pie.

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