Safer trains: New project aims to improve railways across 35 states

The Biden administration announced Monday that it has awarded more than $1.4 billion to projects that improve rail safety and increase capacity, with about $1 billion coming from the 2021 infrastructure bill.

“These projects will make America’s rail safer, more reliable and more resilient, deliver tangible benefits to dozens of communities where rail is located and strengthen supply chains across the country,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement.

The money will fund 70 projects in 35 states and Washington, DC. Railroad safety has become a major concern across the country since a train carrying hazardous chemicals derailed and caught fire in East Palestine, Ohio, in February. President Joe Biden has ordered federal agencies to hold the train’s operator, Norfolk Southern, responsible for the crash, but a package of proposed rail safety reforms has stalled in the Senate, where the bill is still awaiting a vote . The White House also says a possible government shutdown by Republicans in the House of Representatives would undermine rail safety.