High-Speed Rail Stalled

Jan 9, 2012

Lawmakers from North Carolina and Virginia met earlier today in Richmond to plan out the future of a high-speed rail corridor that would link Raleigh to Washington. The meeting was largely symbolic.

Dave DeWitt: High-speed rail is essentially derailed, thanks to last year’s federal budget deal that zeroed out funding in 2012. Some money is still left over from previous grants, but it’s a small percentage of what is needed to make a high-speed train a reality.

The North Carolina state budget also did its part to kill one of President Obama’s pet projects. Tucked into the budget passed over a gubernatorial veto last summer was a provision that severely limits the D.O.T. from accepting federal rail grants. It does so by requiring legislative approval before applying for any money that would require at least $5 million in state increases for operations or matching funds.

Three of the five members of the state’s high-speed rail contingent who met in Virginia today are Republicans who voted for that budget provision.