The Department of Transportation announced Monday that the government will spend $450 million upgrading a 24-mile stretch of rail between Trenton and Brunswick, New Jersey, on the busy Northeast Corridor to allow Amtrak’s signature Acela trains to reach 160 miles-per-hour.
The speed-limit increase would save about one minute and 40 seconds, Bloomberg reports — meaning the upgrade will cost about $4.5 million per-second.
An additional $295 million will be spent to separate Amtrak trains from Long Island Rail Road trains in Queens — to speed travel times north from Manhattan.
The money for high speed rail improvements comes from funds originally granted to Florida in the 2009 stimulus bill that the state sent back earlier this year.
House Republicans had sought to divert some of the funding to flood relief in the Midwest.
“These grants are a win for our economy and a win for commuters all along the Northeast Corridor,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said. “We are creating new construction jobs, ordering American-made supplies and improving transportation opportunities across a region where 50 million Americans live and work.”
The Department of Transportation estimated that the grants would create 12,000 jobs.
Amtrak said the improvements are the first steps toward 220 mile-per-hour service on the line which links Washington, D.C., New York, and Boston.