More investment needed to meet growing passenger demand and to support economic growth in the region
WASHINGTON – A new Amtrak website aims to raise awareness about Northeast Corridor (NEC) infrastructure needs, and build support for capital investment in projects crucial to support economic growth in the region and meet a growing demand for passenger rail service.
The NEC is a critical transportation artery serving the Northeast’s cities and connecting the entire region with approximately 260 million passenger rail trips occurring every year on Amtrak and eight commuter railroads that operate over the line. Significant capital investment in the aging NEC infrastructure is necessary to deliver capacity and reliability to meet current and projected future demand for passenger rail service and reverse decades of under-investment.
The new website includes project information and updates, maps, graphics, and other resources about several NEC infrastructure projects now under construction or in the planning stage. Some of the highlighted projects include the Gateway Program to expand rail capacity into New York City and replacing the Portal Bridge in New Jersey and the Baltimore & Potomac Tunnel in Maryland. There also is information on station planning and development efforts, providing next-generation high-speed rail service and other key NEC infrastructure projects and initiatives being advanced by Amtrak and its federal, state, and local partners.
“It would be difficult to overstate the importance of the Northeast Corridor to both the regional and national economies. Millions of people and businesses depend on a reliable and functioning NEC and greater federal capital investment is vital to ensuring it stays that way,” said Amtrak Executive Vice President and Chief NEC Business Development Stephen Gardner. “If greater investments in the NEC aren’t made soon we risk a future with increased infrastructure-related service disruptions and delays. This new website will help us tell this important story.”
Amtrak’s Northeast Regional and Acela services operating between Washington and Boston each set new ridership records in FY 2014 with 11.6 million passenger trips combined – a 3.3 percent increase over the prior year. Demand for Acela was particularly strong, with 28 days in which the number of Acela trips topped 14,000. There were just five such days the year before.
Amtrak is America’s Railroad®, the nation’s intercity passenger rail service and its high-speed rail operator. Amtrak and its state and commuter partners move people, the economy and the nation forward. Formally known as the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, Amtrak is governed by a nine member board of directors appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Anthony R. Coscia is board chairman and Jeffrey R. Moreland is vice chairman. In FY 2014, nearly 31 million passengers traveled on Amtrak on more than 300 daily trains – at speeds up to 150 mph (241 kph) – that connect 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian Provinces. Enjoy the journey® at Amtrak.com or call 800-USA-RAIL for schedules, fares and more information. Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter (@Amtrak) and check out our blog at blog.amtrak.com.