Missouri to seek $200 million in rail stimulus funds

JEFFERSON CITY | Missouri transportation officials have approved $200 million of rail projects for which they hope to receive federal stimulus money.

The Highways and Transportation Commission on Wednesday added the 11 rail projects to its five-year construction plan. But the projects will occur only if the federal government agrees to fund them.

Missouri is competing against other states for railroad stimulus funds, and preliminary applications show states are seeking nearly 12 times the amount of money available.

Missouri’s projects generally are intended to remove bottlenecks on the Union Pacific tracks used by Amtrak passenger trains between St. Louis and Kansas City. The goal is to keep the trains running on time and eventually allow them to travel at faster speeds.