WASHINGTON — States and other sponsors of high-speed rail projects must submit pre-applications for a share of the more than $8 billion of available funding no later than July 10, the Federal Railroad Administration said this week in interim guidance that outlines the criteria for such projects.

The agency will favor projects that further the stimulus law’s agenda of job creation, “particularly in economically distressed areas,” and provide other benefits such as energy efficiency, according to the 68-page document.

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