Federal and congressional transportation proponents said on Dec. 15 they seek expressions of interest from firms to finance, design, build and operate high-speed passenger rail projects in 11 federally designated U.S. corridors. The solicitation is part of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008, signed into law on Oct. 16. Respondents have until September 2009 to submit proposals. A planned Northeast Corridor between New York City and Washington, set to cost up to $30 billion, would be first, with officials saying all routes could operate as early as 2012.