It Could Happen By 2040, Amtrak Says
A new report released on Monday, July 9 by Amtrak outlines a vision for the northeastern United States that could shorten a train trip from New York City to either Boston or Washington D.C. to 94 minutes by 2040.
The report, titled The Amtrak Vision For The Northeast Corridor, details a 30-year, $151 billion capital investment plan that includes new tunnels under the Hudson River and the expansion of Penn Station (to be renamed Moynihan Station).
An ongoing effort as part of the plan is the revamping of a 24-mile stretch of rail between the New Jersey cities of New Brunswick and Trenton that would make it the fastest passenger track in North America, boosting top rail speeds from 135 mph to 160 mph.
In addition, a $140 million project is underway to replace the 104- year-old Niantic River Bridge in East Lyme, Conn. that will increase speed for commuters heading north from New York City.
Over the next 10 years, Amtrak hopes to add 40 high-speed Acela trains, double the service between New York and Washington D.C. and expand service between New York and Newark N.J.
By 2040, the agency hopes to lay the infrastructure that would turn a 3 1/2 hour trip from New York to Boston or three-hour trip from New York to Washington D.C. into 1 1/2- hour commutes.
According to Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman, the northeastern United States “is facing a severe crisis with an aging and congested multi-modal transportation network that routinely operates at or near capacity in key segments.”
“With an expected 30 percent population increase by 2050,” he added, “we must move beyond mere preservation and rehabilitation of the current system to a new vision for expanded transportation capacity and growth.”
The Federal Railroad Administration will now examine the proposal and begin a planning process. While government funding is “insufficient to support the program presently,” Amtrak said that it would consider increasing fees for users of trains within Amtrak’s “Northeast Corridor” to support the improvement projects.