Md. officials cheer funds for light rail projects

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland officials say initial federal funding for two light rail projects puts the state in a strong position to build the major projects in the Washington suburbs and the Baltimore metropolitan area.

Gov. Martin O'Malley said Wednesday that President Barack Obama's inclusion of $100 million each for the Purple Line and Red Line in his budget gives the projects "a lot of momentum."

Maryland Transportation Secretary Jim Smith says the president's budget proposal "really puts us in a strong position."

The state is seeking $900 million each in federal funding for the projects. The Purple Line that would be built in Montgomery and Prince George's counties is expected to cost about $2.2 billion. The Red Line in Baltimore is projected to cost $2.57 billion.