WASHINGTON — High-speed rail is the “newest gravy train” in Washington, D.C., with more than 50 public and private groups having registered in the last quarter to lobby for billions of dollars of federal aid — a threefold increase from a year ago, the Center for Public Integrity found in a recent investigation.

That number is probably much higher because many groups and individuals keep their lobbying efforts vague and do not specify high-speed rail in filings, the center said in a five-page article summarizing its findings from a probe that began in late spring.

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