America in an infrastructure crisis: Ray LaHood

As investigators continue to pour through the wreckage of the Amtrak train that crashed Tuesday night in Philadelphia, former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood warned Wednesday that there is an infrastructure crisis in America.

"If we are going to have safe transportation systems in America, you have to invest in them. You have to keep up with state-of-the-art infrastructure," LaHood said in an interview with CNBC's "Power Lunch."

"We haven't done that."

The Amtrak train that derailed Tuesday was travelling more than 100 mph, the National Transportation Safety Board said Wednesday.

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The posted speed at the location is 50 mph. The area is known as Frankford Junction and has a big curve.

The investigation is still ongoing and the cause of the crash has not been determined.

However, overall, LaHood noted that the U.S. has a "limp along, go along" system that Congress is trying to figure out how to fund.

The current financing of the Highway Trust Fund, which pays for repair and construction of mass transit projects, highways and bridges, is set to expire at the end of May.

"Our funding mechanisms are broke. There's no vision. No leadership in Washington to fix it and they are trying to put Band-Aids and duct tape and other things on these fixes and they simply do not work," he argued.

When it comes to passenger trains and high-speed rail systems, Europe is the "gold standard," LaHood said. While its trains were developed decades ago, they have been well-maintained and well-financed, he added.

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