Amtrak identifies 5 critical rail investments to keep the USA moving forward

Susquehanna River Bridge. Credit: Amtrak.
Susquehanna River Bridge. Credit: Amtrak.

Operator Amtrak has launched a campaign to obtain funding for five critical investments.

Named “Ready to Build”, the campaign highlights the scheme’s importance to achieve a modern passenger rail system.

Amtrak co-CEO said these major projects are critical to keep “people, the economy and the nation moving forward.”

High demand for passenger rail services continues to outpace investment, according to Amtrak, which has resulted in a backlog of $38 billion of deferred capital investments.

Once funding has been obtained, Amtrak and its partners are ready to finalise design and begin construction work on the following schemes:

  • Hudson Tunnel Project (New York – New Jersey): Construction of a new Hudson River rail tunnel serving New York Penn station to provide greater operational flexibility and infrastructure resiliency, following damage from Superstorm Sandy.
  • Portal North Bridge Project (New Jersey): Replacement of the century-old Portal Bridge with a new high-level, fixed-span bridge will result in faster trip times and greater reliability as well as eliminate the need to open for maritime traffic, said Amtrak.
  • Major Stations Development (Northeast and Chicago): Leveraging public-private partnerships and underutilised land and air rights to transform facilities which are more than 50 years old into commercial transportation hubs.
  • Susquehanna River Bridge Project (Maryland): Replacement of existing two-track bridge with two new high-level bridges with a total of four tracks, allowing for increased speeds and eliminating the need to open for maritime traffic.
  • Baltimore and Potomac Tunnel Project (Maryland): Replacement of the Civil War-era, 30mph bottleneck with a four-tube tunnel that allows for more reliable and more frequent service.
A graphic highlighting the geographical locations of the five projects. Credit: Amtrak.
A graphic highlighting the geographical locations of the five projects. Credit: Amtrak.

Amtrak said that it has already started planning for the complex projects.

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