On Jan. 28, officials with the Obama administration unveiled grants totaling $545 million for the state of North Carolina to use to fund rail improvements.

A grant totaling $520 million will fund nearly 30 interrelated projects aimed at increasing top train speeds and doubling the number of round trips on the Raleigh-Charlotte corridor. These funds will provide for the purchase and rehabilitation of locomotives and cars, track upgrades and station security improvements.

A separate $25-million grant will fund "congestion mitigation" between Raleigh and Richmond, Va.

Lisa P. Jackson, administrator with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, made the announcement Jan. 28 at the Amtrak station in Durham. The grant was part of President Barack Obama’s announcement of approximately $8 billion in federal high-speed rail grants.