U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Announces $3.6 Million for Michigan High-Speed Rail

WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced $3.6 million for the State of Michigan to begin work on the rehabilitation of the Battle Creek railroad station.

The Department of Transportation will ultimately provide a total of $40 million to Michigan under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for its high-speed intercity passenger rail program.

“President Obama’s bold vision for high-speed rail is a game-changer for transportation in Michigan and the United States,” said Secretary LaHood. “This undertaking will not only create good jobs and reinvigorate our manufacturing base, it’s also going to relieve congestion on our roadways and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.”

The $3.6 million in Recovery Act funds will be used to renovate the station’s interior lobby, bathrooms, ticketing areas and offices, lighting, signage, and to make the station Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant.

The exterior of the station will also see significant upgrades. The building will be refaced with new and restored masonry and new exterior lighting will be installed. The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is actively working with the Michigan Department of Transportation on additional grant agreements to further develop the Detroit-Chicago route.

“Improving railroad infrastructure, including stations, is a vital part of our high-speed intercity passenger rail program,” said Federal Railroads Administrator Joseph C. Szabo. “The customer experience of train travel will be greatly enhanced by the station improvements, making rail an attractive option for travelers.”

FRA has released more than $591 million of the $8 billion down payment provided in the Recovery Act for the development of a national network of interconnected high-speed rail corridors.