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Obama to Announce $8 Billion in Rail Funding

The money will be used to develop U.S. high-speed rail lines

U.S. President Barack Obama will announce Thursday a plan to award $8 billion in stimulus funds to develop U.S. high-speed rail lines.

President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will announce grants for building the rail lines at a town hall meeting in Tampa, Florida. The event will be the president's first public appearance after his speech to the nation Wednesday.

Mr. Obama is expected to promote the grants to state governments as way to create thousands of jobs.

At an event last April, the president said U.S. high-speed rail service will save energy, reduce pollution and relieve highway and airport congestion.

Florida and California are among the states that have proposed high-speed rail corridors.

The $8 billion investment is part of Mr. Obama's $787 billion recovery act.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP.