RI to apply for federal rail money

Providence, RI – Today is the deadline for Rhode Island to apply for a share of 2.4-billion dollars in federal rail money. The state Department of Transportation is expected to submit three separate proposals for projects worth a combined 31 million dollars. The largest of the projects would include constructing a third rail at the Kingston Station in South Kingstown. Charles St. Martin of the Department of Transportation said the third rail would create an easier flow of rail traffic.

"We would like to add additional track at the station that would allow mainline Acela trains to pass through without stopping or slowing, which helps improve the ability to move passengers quickly through Rhode Island," St. Martin said. "It provides more capacity in the line such that we could look at adding commuter rail to that location."

Rhode Island is among a number of states that have expressed interest in the money, originally set aside for Florida. Florida Governor Rick Scott declined the money last month, believing the state could not afford operating costs of the project the money was intended to finance.

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