A $19 million line item in the new federal budget that's dedicated to much-needed improvements and modernization along the Northeast Rail Corridor is being praised as a "foot in the door" for possibly more federal funding.

Jennifer Dodge, ThinkStock

The special allotment marks the first time in recent memory that federal money has been specifically dedicated for projects along the aging 557-mile stretch of railway from Washington, D.C. to Boston. It's the busiest passenger rail corridor in the nation.

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut acknowledges the amount pales in comparison to the estimated $21.1 billion that's needed to address a backlog of projects.

But he says it's a "foot in the door" that could lead to more funding to help states upgrade aging structures such as bridges and tunnels.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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