WASHINGTON – Amtrak and its partners have been awarded more than $2.1 billion to improve existing routes and advance plans to expand Amtrak service across the United States.
“Amtrak ridership is soaring and we’re advancing plans to further enhance and expand our services across the United States with our various partners, thanks to these grants,” said Amtrak CEO Stephen Gardner. “We’re eager to bring the benefit of Amtrak’s network and experience to support states and local communities as they work to bring intercity passenger rail to new communities across America.”
Multiple grants announced today will go directly to Amtrak; others will support existing and potential partners. This includes:
- $108.5 million directly to Amtrak for station and service upgrades;
- $2 billion to our partners in North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maine for infrastructure upgrades that will directly benefit Amtrak customers and host railroads; and
- $34.5 million to 39 states and localities for planning and development of 69 new and improved intercity passenger rail corridors, which Amtrak is primed to support
These grants were awarded through the Federal Railroad Administration’s Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail Program for projects located across the National Network, as well as the Corridor Identification and Development Program (Corridor ID).
“President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda is funding transformative rail projects that will carry Americans for decades to come and provide them with convenient, climate-friendly alternatives to congested roads and airports,” said FRA Administrator Amit Bose. “Today’s investments in passenger rail nationwide, made possible by the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, are another step forward as we expand and modernize our country’s rail network, providing more Americans the world-class passenger rail they need and deserve. Nationwide projects receiving federal support through FRA’s Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail Program, will result in faster trips, more reliability, and expanded service across the country.”
FED-STATE PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM
This program provides funding for capital projects across the National Network that reduce the state of good repair backlog, improve performance, or expand or establish new intercity passenger rail service. Amtrak received three grants:
- Chicago Union Station (CUS) Projects – (two grants totaling up to $93.6 million)
Chicago is the hub of Amtrak’s National Network. Every day, dozens of Long Distance and State Supported trains start or end their routes at CUS. Two separate grants will advance elements of the Chicago Hub Improvement Program (CHIP), Amtrak’s multi-phased project to revitalize CUS and revolutionize Midwest passenger rail.
These grants will help improve the customer experience for Amtrak and Metra customers by funding renovation and expansion of the station platforms, improving passenger access and capacity, bringing the platforms into compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards, and improving ventilation systems and air quality. This work also includes repurposing platforms designed for mail handling that have been unused since 2005, enabling their use for passengers and supporting long-term rail service expansion across the Midwest.
- Malta, Mont. Corridor Operational Enhancement Project (up to $14.9 million)
This project will improve Empire Builder service by eliminating critical bottlenecks that cause delays and operational conflicts for freight and passenger trains. The work involves final design and construction activities for track, bridge, signal and other rail infrastructure improvements on BNSF tracks that Amtrak’s Long Distance service operates on in the Malta, Mont. area and at the Malta Amtrak Station.
In addition to these three grants, multiple partners also received funding through this program to upgrade tracks and bridges that Amtrak trains operate on, which will help to improve reliability and reduce travel times. Additionally, Amtrak congratulates Brightline West and the California High Speed Rail Authority for their successful grant applications to build high speed rail projects that will expand intercity rail options and could interface with Amtrak’s network in the future.
CORRIDOR ID PROGRAM (each award up to $500,000)
This comprehensive intercity passenger rail planning and development program created by the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act is designed to help guide intercity passenger rail development throughout the United States and create a pipeline of intercity passenger rail projects ready for implementation.
The FRA awarded grant funding to all four applications Amtrak submitted. Another 65 applications submitted by other entities also received funding. This funding could support development of a scope, schedule, and cost estimate for preparing, completing, or documenting related service development plans.
- Texas High-Speed Rail Corridor
This proposed corridor would connect Dallas and Houston, Texas, with a new, dedicated and grade separated high-speed passenger rail service. This would provide new service on a new alignment, with station stops in Dallas, Brazos Valley and Houston.
- Long Island Northeast Regional Extension
This proposed corridor would extend three existing daily Northeast Regional round trips between Washington, DC and New York City east to Ronkonkoma, NY, with stops at Jamaica (Queens, NY) and Hicksville, NY. This would entail track, station and infrastructure upgrades to accommodate these trains and better integrate Amtrak service with Long Island Rail Road commuter service.
- Daily Cardinal Service
This proposed corridor would increase Cardinal service to operate daily, versus three days per week currently. This route operates between New York City and Chicago via Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, DC, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana.
- Daily Sunset Limited Service
This proposed corridor would increase Sunset Limited service to operate daily, versus three days per week currently. This route operates between Los Angeles and New Orleans via Houston, San Antonio and El Paso, Texas; Tucson, Ariz.; and other communities.
Other FRA Identified Corridors
Several of the 65 corridors submitted by other entities and selected by FRA will study improvements that would benefit existing State Supported, Long Distance and Northeast Regional services operated by Amtrak.
As America’s Railroad, Amtrak is uniquely positioned to support the proposed expansion of intercity passenger rail across the many corridors identified by the FRA. This includes more than 52 years of experience connecting communities across America, as well as strong teams dedicated to Network Planning, Capital Delivery and Service Delivery & Operations with employees located across the United States.
Earlier this year, the FRA also awarded Amtrak nearly $10 billion for 12 projects of national significance across America’s busiest rail corridor, and another nearly $200 million through the CRISI grant program.
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY)
“The Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act I led through Congress is laying the tracks for the future of transit. This federal funding will boost intercity rail by developing a plan to potentially extend Amtrak roundtrip train service between Washington D.C. and New York City to Long Island Rail Road stations in Jamaica, Hicksville and Ronkonkoma. Track, station, and infrastructure upgrades would better integrate Amtrak service with the LIRR and give Long Islanders increased transportation options throughout the region and is worthy of serious consideration for rail expansion.”
U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)
“I am glad to see that Amtrak is seriously evaluating daily service for the Cardinal line, which has eight stops in West Virginia. Bringing this level of service, as well as improving the railroads in my state are some of the reasons I negotiated the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.”
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
“Investing in modernizing and expanding Amtrak service ensures that passengers can enjoy a more reliable and safer ride. Extending Northeast Regional service to Long Island and increasing Cardinal service will expand service and benefit countless Amtrak customers traveling in and out of New York. I am proud to have helped secure funding for these development projects, and I will continue to support upgrades to Amtrak service in New York.”
Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM)
“Bringing daily service to the Sunset Limited Amtrak line will improve passenger rail connections for southern New Mexico residents and help us grow our tourism economy. I am proud to welcome this step towards expanded rail service that was made possible by investments from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.”
Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner (D-VA)
“For years, we’ve been championing the expansion of rail to every corner of the Commonwealth because it’s a slam dunk for local economies, cuts traffic, and protects the environment. We’re thrilled the bipartisan infrastructure law is taking a big step towards expanding service across the entire Commonwealth so communities along the I-95 corridor and beyond can be connected by more convenient, consistent passenger rail.”
Senator Mark Kelly (D-AZ)
“For too long, Phoenix has been the largest city in the country not served by Amtrak. But thanks to our Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we’re making investments towards connecting Phoenix and Tucson, making Amtrak’s nationwide network accessible to more Americans.”
Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV)
“I applaud Amtrak for their continued efforts to restore daily service on the Cardinal line that travels through the Mountain State. This is a great investment in further connecting West Virginia communities, bringing more visitors to our great state and creating new economic opportunities. I am committed to seeing daily rail service in Charleston, Huntington, White Sulphur Springs, Hinton, and the many communities along the Cardinal line. I will continue working to see that West Virginia gets the important rail service it needs and deserves.”
Senator Krysten Sinema (I-AZ)
“When I wrote and negotiated the bipartisan infrastructure law in 2021, these were the types of crucial, transformative projects I had in mind for Arizona. Today’s investment is an important step forward to better connect our communities and expand economic opportunities – and we couldn’t be more proud to have made it a reality.”
Senator Jon Tester (D-MT)
“As someone who’s spent his entire life in north central Montana, I can tell you firsthand just how critical the Empire Builder is to keeping communities connected and helping Montana small businesses thrive. For years folks have been telling me that we need an upgrade to our rail infrastructure around Malta to improve passenger and freight services, and with the help of my bipartisan infrastructure law, we’ll finally be able to deliver. These funds will help ensure smooth and reliable service along the Empire Builder, and I’m proud to have worked across the aisle to make it happen.”
Representative Pete Aguilar (D-CA-33)
“I’m thrilled to see this new investment in the Inland Empire as we continue to work to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and grow the local economy. This new rail system will help relieve traffic congestion for folks commuting to work, help small businesses by boosting our tourism industry and strengthen our economy overall. We need more projects like this in our community and I’ll continue to advocate for more infrastructure funding in Congress.”
Representative Colin Allred (D-TX-32)
“Bringing home the resources and investments we need to grow our economy and create jobs will always be a priority for me in Congress. Further connecting Dallas and Houston and our economies will create countless opportunities and ensure that Texas continues to lead the world. As a member of the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, I have worked to support Texas Central and their potential partnership with Amtrak, and am so glad to have helped secure this funding.”
Representative Don Beyer (D-VA-08)
“The Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail grant for Virginia is an historic investment that will allow for the construction of the Long Bridge project between DC and Arlington, easing one of the largest bottlenecks in our passenger rail south of D.C., and will greatly improve the efficiency of our passenger rail in Virginia. I was thrilled to see multiple corridor identification awards granted in Virginia as well, which will bolster our efforts to modernize and advance passenger rail throughout the Commonwealth. I am proud of our hard work in passing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to make these grants possible, and I am very glad to see these investments that will lead to great economic opportunity and connectedness across Virginia.”
Representative André Carson (D-IN-07)
“I have long advocated for better intercity passenger rail in the Midwest through my work in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Rail Subcommittee. Today’s announcement is a monumental step forward to make Indianapolis better-connected than ever before. Daily service for the Cardinal route will make a positive difference for all the communities served, especially Indianapolis, the Crossroads of America – and it’s a change I’ve called for a number of years. These rail improvements, increases in service frequency, and a new proposed Corridor will provide smooth pathways for travel from Chicago to Indianapolis to Louisville. Amtrak opens the door for new people to visit, work, and enjoy all Indianapolis has to offer. The Midwest’s future is not complete without a strong passenger rail system, and I’ll keep working to provide strong and consistent funding to Amtrak.”
Representative Joaquin Castro (D-TX-20)
“I’m glad to see the Department of Transportation prioritizing routes in Texas as part of the largest federal investment in passenger rail since Amtrak’s creation. This investment will get Texans where they need to go while creating good-paying jobs and growing our economy. Investing and expanding in our transportation infrastructure does good for our entire nation, and I’m glad we are moving towards expanding services.”
Representative Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA-11)
“These are historic investments in our future that will reduce rail and road congestion, improve commutes, and increase our regional transportation capacity. I am proud to have helped secure this critical funding and I can’t wait to see these federal dollars at work.”
Representative Jasmine Crockett (D-TX-30)
“Texas is growing, and Dallas is growing even faster. More new Texans means more public transportation needs, including and especially high-speed rail. I’m excited we’re bringing $500,000 home to Texas for development of a Texas High-Speed Rail Corridor, which could lower transportation costs for commuters, ease traffic congestion on our roads, cut down on carbon pollution, and boost economic integration between Dallas and Houston – two of the largest metro areas in the country. The future of Texas is coming at HIGH-SPEED!”
Representative Morgan Griffith (R-VA-09)
“This investment in the development of new rail service into Southwest Virginia by the Department of Transportation is welcomed news, as it will not only provide more transportation options for those living in the region, but also for those visiting our great Commonwealth.”
Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ-07)
“Returning Amtrak passenger service to Arizona is critical for our state’s economy, sustainability and regional connectivity. This $500,000 grant puts us on the right track to give Arizonans a reliable and more climate-friendly mode of travel. I’m proud to have voted for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law which continues to be a source of good paying jobs and a driver of economic growth for all of Arizona.”
Representative Robin Kelly (D-IL-02)
“I’m thrilled to welcome these historic investments in passenger rail to Illinois. By prioritizing investments in state of the art transportation infrastructure, the Biden-Harris administration is putting American families first. Our economy, our climate, and our entire communities will thrive with increased access to passenger rail.”
Representative Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07)
“This major investment is proof that the bipartisan infrastructure law is continuing to deliver for Virginia’s communities. In Congress, I’ve had the honor of representing Virginians up and down the I-95 corridor. And for years, they have been calling for stronger investments in reliable passenger rail. Thanks to the bipartisan infrastructure law — which I helped negotiate and voted to pass, the Long Bridge project will make sure that Virginians can rely on rail to get where they’re going when they’re travelling on Amtrak or VRE. This funding will also allow for the construction of a third track along sections of the corridor in Prince William, Stafford, and Spotsylvania — making a massive difference for the Virginians I represent. On behalf of the hundreds of thousands of Virginians I serve, I look forward to seeing these major and historic improvements in action.”
Representative Norma Torres (D-CA-35)
“Transportation is essential to the development of the Inland Empire, connecting our families to good jobs, affordable housing, and to each other. The Brightline West High-Speed Corridor promises to revolutionize our community’s transportation infrastructure, connecting the Inland Empire directly to Las Vegas via an approximate 2-hour high-speed rail trip and promoting further connectivity to Los Angeles via Amtrak with the new intermodal Cucamonga station. I was proud to support this project at the federal level which will generate significant tourism and economic growth for the region. By completing the nation’s first high-speed rail project on the West Coast, the Inland Empire will lead the way in promoting more public investment in high-speed rail throughout California and the nation.”
Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego
“In Phoenix, connectivity is everything – from investments in our light rail system to expanding bus routes, we know that transit unleashes opportunities that help families and businesses prosper. Today’s news is huge because it means we are another step closer to re-establishing much needed rail service between Arizona’s two largest cities. Train service between Phoenix and Tucson will spur economic activity, help reduce congestion on the busy I-10, and ultimately kickstart private and public investments along the rail corridor. I’m grateful to our Congressional delegation for their work to secure the grant and look forward to additional developments as we continue pushing for this critical rail route.”
Big Sky Passenger Rail Authority Chairman David Strohmaier
“The Big Sky Passenger Rail Authority is delighted to serve as a co-applicant with Amtrak on our successful Fed-State Partnership to improve rail infrastructure along Montana’s Hi-Line. The Empire Builder is a lifeline to communities along Montana’s northern tier, and strategic enhancements near Malta will ripple out to the entire Empire Builder route. As we work to expand passenger rail service through southern Montana, we also recognize that expanding service is predicated on a healthy and vibrant Builder, and what’s good for passenger rail is also good for freight operations.”
Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority (NNEPRA) Executive Director Patricia Quinn
“We are grateful for this federal award which, in partnership with CSX Transportation, will fund track-related upgrades to maintain reliability and set the stage for future improvements to the Amtrak Downeaster service.”
Missouri Department of Transportation Director Patrick McKenna
“The funding awarded by the FRA’s Corridor Identification and Development Program plays an integral role in the expansion and future success of Amtrak passenger rail lines in Missouri. These grants will allow us to take the first step in conducting the studies necessary for the development of an expansion plan of the proposed corridors.”
MTA Construction & Development President Jamie Torres-Springer
“The MTA is working with Amtrak in close partnership to look at all possible improvements to regional mobility, while ensuring there will be no impact on LIRR operations.”
PennDOT Secretary Mike Carroll
“Enhancing passenger rail and restoring these connections will deliver new mobility options for Pennsylvanians. We’re grateful to our federal partners for seeing the merit in these projects and continuing to invest in the Keystone State.”
Virginia Passenger Rail Authority Executive Director DJ Stadtler
Since VPRA was created by the Virginia General Assembly in 2020, our goal has been to make the Transforming Rail in Virginia initiative a reality. With this $729 million grant, we see shovels in our future. That future will include two new Amtrak Virginia roundtrips in 2026 with three more launching in 2030. Combined with our current eight roundtrips, Virginians will have thirteen state-supported roundtrips by 2030. And, that future begins now. Earlier this week, VPRA selected construction partners to begin work on two of our most significant Transforming Rail projects, the northern part of Long Bridge and the Franconia-Springfield Bypass. More passenger rail service is coming to the Commonwealth very soon.
Wisconsin Department of Transportation Secretary Craig Thompson
“The long range WisDOT rail plan was the result of listening to the public, and community leaders and many others have asked for passenger trains to reach more of our communities. We will work closely with all our stakeholders to explore this possibility and we will also continue to look at other proposed improvements that are aligned with our long-range plans.”
Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission Executive (MORPC) Director William Murdock
“Today marks a critical milestone to restore passenger rail to the Columbus Region for the first time since 1979. Both routes via Central Ohio have a strong business case that impacts communities and businesses across Ohio’s major cities, rural and Appalachian Ohio, and the corridor from Pittsburgh to Fort Wayne and Chicago. New passenger rail service means jobs, access for our families and workforce, and even fun for sports fans and tourists. Together with our partners, we’re excited to take this important next step.”
Transportation Trades Department. AFL-CIO President Greg Regan
“As the nation’s largest transportation labor federation and a representative of 13 affiliated rail unions, we applaud the Biden Administration for its continued investments in passenger rail systems across the country. This $8.2 billion funding for rail upgrades, expansions, and projects will be transformative for communities and passengers, all while utilizing highly-skilled union workers.”
CSX Senior Director of Passenger Operations Andy Daly
“CSX is proud of the partnership we have with NNEPRA, Amtrak and the FRA. We remain committed to ensuring the success of the Downeaster service and continue to work collaboratively to improve infrastructure since taking over Pan Am Railways. We were happy to celebrate on Monday the operation of the first train in nearly 5 years between Old Town, Maine and the New Brunswick Southern interchange at Mattawamkaeg, Maine as we progress upgrading the track to higher FRA class standards.”
Rail Passengers Association President Jim Mathews
“Passengers from across America will be thrilled to read about the funding agreements announced today by the Biden-Harris Administration. These grants will support the introduction of daily Amtrak service in regions that currently have to make do with trains that only come through their town three times per week; they will help expand popular Amtrak services in rapidly growing parts of the Southeast; and they’ll plant the seeds for scores of new routes across the nation. A successful federal passenger rail program must do more than improve the commutes in coastal cities—investing in an improved and expanded Amtrak is the surest way to ensure that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law improves the transportation network for all Americans.”