From Trains Magazine
Contrary to earlier reports, no high speed rail funds survived in the budget Congress appears poised to pass for the 2011 fiscal year. The six-month deal that passed last Friday night in an effort to prevent a government shutdown cut all remaining funds from the high speed intercity rail program for this year.
The Friday deal included a one-week bill that keeps the government’s doors open while bill-writers ink the six-month deal. The one-week bill carves $1.5 billion from the program immediately, and the six-month bill eliminates the remaining $2.9 billion that President Barack Obama wanted the program to receive this year.
The Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission says the bill will also rescind $400 million appropriated to the program in 2010. This money remains to be obligated because Florida turned back $2.4 billion in funds earlier this year for its planned Tampa-Orlando route.
Earlier reports indicated $1 billion survived the appropriations process, but it appears those reports were erroneous.
The bill will also cut $80 million from Amtrak’s budget below fiscal year 2010 levels.
Transportation cuts weren’t limited to the rail sector. Under the plan, Congress will rescind $2.5 billion in not-yet-obligated highway funds.