An initial federal infusion of $8 billion will help a high-speed rail project get off the ground in the U.S. The rail-expansion plan would include construction or upgrades on up to 10 routes. The plans do not currently rise to international standards for high-speed trains -- except for a line in California -- but observers said the funding for the rail lines is noteworthy because it marks the first investment in higher-speed rail service in 50 years.

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