WASHINGTON — U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is soliciting research proposals to foster rapid development of high-speed and intercity passenger rail service technologies in the United States.

A pool of $25 million is available for basic and applied technology research, development, and demonstration projects to advance the state of the art in track and structures, train control systems, operating practices, and rolling stock. FRA is seeking projects focused on accelerating development of technologies that ensure safe, efficient, and strategic deployment of integrated passenger rail systems. The solicitation is open to all sources.

“President Obama’s bold vision for high-speed rail is a game-changer for transportation in the United States,” Secretary LaHood said. “This undertaking is not only creating good jobs and reinvigorating our manufacturing base, it’s also going to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.”

The solicitation continues FRA’s long history of supporting the development of advanced rail systems by providing funding and technical assistance in support of new equipment, infrastructure, and testing technologies. Nationally, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provided an $8 billion down payment for high-speed rail.

The solicitation, BAA (Broad Agency Announcement) 2010-1, Research and Demonstration Projects Supporting the Development of High Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Service, published on July 28, 2010, can be viewed at Federal Business Opportunities and FRA’s websites and will be open through Sept. 30, 2012.