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The Federal Railroad Administration has concluded six working-group meetings with stakeholders on its Amtrak Daily Long-Distance Service Study, which was required by the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
The study will evaluate the restoration of daily passenger-rail service along discontinued Amtrak long-distance routes and current long-distance routes that operate with less than daily service. It also opens the possibility for establishing new long-distance routes and "bolstering essential intercity passenger-rail connections, especially in rural areas," FRA officials said in a press release.
During the working-group meetings, stakeholders — Amtrak, state departments of transportation, local officials, Class Is and regional passenger-rail authorities — reviewed the study’s requirements for long-distance passenger-rail service. Participants also discussed potential economic benefits of new service, options for advancing evaluations of potential routes and how Amtrak and communities can work together to improve service on such routes.
The FRA will hold additional meetings to keep stakeholders informed of the study’s progress. When completed, the study will lay out a vision for long-distance service; identify preferred options for restored, enhanced or new service; and prioritize an inventory of capital projects to advance the routes.
"FRA envisions a future where Americans can easily access the passenger services they need, and conducting this study alongside partners who know the transportation needs of their states and localities brings us one step closer to this vision," said FRA Administrator Amit Bose.