"The Obama administration plans to reallocate money designated for high-speed rail if the states granted the funds reject them.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood made the announcement Monday night to hundreds of politicians, businesspeople, urban planners and rail enthusiasts gathered in New York City to assess the state of high-speed rail in the United States during a three-day conference sponsored by the U.S. High Speed Rail Association (USHSR) trade group.
Critics have said that high-speed rail would not attract enough riders to justify the multibillion-dollar price tag. They have also questioned spending billions of dollars on infrastructure for the network when the nation's economy is fragile and governments are struggling with deficits.
But rail advocates sketched a vision Monday for a 17,000-mile network linking U.S. cities with electric trains capable of traveling at 220 mph."