Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is looking for $32.5 million of federal funds to help finance added rail capacity at Boston’s South Station.

The administration has applied for a High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail grant from the Federal Railroad Administration. If approved, the $32.5 million would cover environmental permitting and design costs for the project.

The development would add seven new tracks to South Station’s existing 13 tracks and boost Amtrak and Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority capacity. The MBTA is the state’s main public transportation system.

“The vision of dramatically improved high-speed rail service in the commonwealth is on track to become reality, and a lynchpin is the expansion of South Station,” Patrick said in a statement.

Last summer, Patrick and other New England governors announced a plan to double passenger rail ridership in the Northeast by 2030. The Vision for the New England High Speed and Intercity Rail Network aims to expand and strengthen passenger and freight rail service between cities and airports.

Key projects of the rail plan include a “Knowledge Corridor” that will add service between Boston and New Haven and better link Vermont and New Hampshire to Connecticut. The initiative would also improve service between Portland, Maine, and Boston while also constructing a new line between Montreal and Portland.

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