Terminate the Federal Railroad Administration's Funding of High-Speed Rail Projects

  • Potential 10 Year Savings: $3.8 Billion
  • Sponsor: Rep. Austin Scott
  • Legislation: H.R. 2811
  • Status: Introduced

The 2009 Stimulus bill provided $8 billion in grants to develop high-speed rail lines intended to shorten passenger rail travel times with trains operating at between 90 and 250 miles per hour. Another $2.1 billion was appropriated for these projects in the last two fiscal years, although no funding was provided in the final appropriations for FY 2011. These grants fund construction of rail lines that States will then be required to support with annual operating subsidies. Critics note that only two high-speed rail lines in the world are actually profitable. Due to the potential taxpayer exposure from future operating subsidies, several Governors have refused federal high-speed rail funds.