At least 32 domestic and foreign rail companies will set up or expand bases in the US if they are selected by states or groups of states to build next generation high-speed rail lines in the country.

The news was revealed by TRANSPORTATION Secretary Ray LaHood at a discussion about the president’s vision for high-speed intercity rail development.

The list of rail manufacturers and suppliers includes GE, Bombardier, Alstom, Talgo, Kawasaki Rail Car, Siemens and Hyundai Rotem USA.

“Our goal is to develop a national high-speed rail network, create good jobs here in America and help reinvigorate our manufacturing base,” LaHood said.

“We also look forward to establishing joint ventures with foreign firms who can provide expertise and establish or expand their operations here in the US,” he said.

Nearly $8bn in the Recovery Act and $1bn a year for five years in the federal budget is available for various rail projects in the country.

The government has already received 45 applications from 24 states totalling $50bn for large high-speed rail projects and 214 applications from 34 states totalling $7bn for smaller projects.