US to invest $2.5bn in high-speed rail expansion

train at station the US Image copyright Getty Images

US vice president Joe Biden has announced plans to lend railway operator Amtrak $2.45bn (£1.86bn) to expand services and make upgrades.

Amtrak's plans include expanding high-speed trains between Washington DC and Boston.

The vice president said "America needs to go big on infrastructure" investment.

Rail infrastructure in the US lags many other developed countries, particularly in terms of high-speed trains.

The new trains, which Amtrak expects to begin running in 2021, will have initial speeds of up to 160mph, but will be capable of speeds up to 186mph.

"We need these kinds of investments to keep this region - and our whole country - moving, and to create new jobs," said Mr Biden.

America's Northeast corridor, which includes Washington, New York City, and Boston is one of the country's busiest route networks.

Amtrak recorded 11.7 million riders along that route in 2015 - its highest number on record.

"The Northeast corridor is a national economic engine that carries a workforce contributing $50bn annually to the national GDP," said New Jersey Senator Cory Booker.

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