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PHILADELPHIA — Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday announced an ambitious $53 billion program to build new high-speed rail networks and make existing ones faster over the next six years.
"This is about seizing the future," he said.
Japan and China are already building high-speed rail, and "there's no reason, none," that the United States cannot do the same, Biden said.
"If we do not, you tell me how America is going to be able to lead the world in the 21st century."
The line is scheduled for completion in 2015, assuming a steady continuation of funding, officials said. Two daily roundtrips are planned for the Chicago-Quad Cities-Iowa City route. Initial top speeds will be 79 mph, which is Amtrak's current limit. Longer-term plans call for additional daily roundtrips and increasing speeds to 90 mph and perhaps to 110 mph, officials said. The so-called "green line'' to Iowa will be used to test biofuels and other environmentally friendly ideas. The two states had sought $248 million for the estimated $310 million project. State money will be needed to bridge the funding gap.
Originally posted by dolphinfan
"If we do not (build trains), you tell me how America is going to be able to lead the world in the 21st century."