The federal money became available after Florida governor, Rick Scott, canceled a rail project in his state that would have connected Tampa and Orlando with high-speed trains.
President Barack Obama is seeking to the make creation of a national network of high-speed trains a signature project of his administration.
"This is a win win for America, get congestion off the road, and put Americans to work building the infrastructure for high speed rail," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
Secretary LaHood says 24 states and Amtrak are competing for funding a total of 90 projects.
He added that a decision on which state gets the funding should be made within 30 days.The Associated Press contributed to this story.