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Rail News: Amtrak

Amtrak aims to double ridership by 2040

"With funding from the infrastructure bill in hand, we and our partners are transforming intercity passenger rail across the country in a big way," said CEO Stephen Gardner in a press release.
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Amtrak yesterday announced several key initiatives aimed at doubling its annual ridership to 66 million by fiscal-year 2040.

"Amtrak has rebounded from the pandemic and is growing again as part of our plan to double ridership by 2040," said Amtrak CEO Stephen Gardner in a press release. "With funding from the infrastructure bill in hand, we and our partners are transforming intercity passenger rail across the country in a big way."

The initiatives include:

• Advancing infrastructure. Amtrak will invest $5.5 billion to modernize trains; enhance stations, tunnels and bridges; and upgrade critical infrastructure. It also will continue construction on major projects along the Northeast Corridor; and advance mega projects including the Chicago Hub Improvement Program, New York Penn Station expansion and Washington Union Station redevelopment.

• Driving transformation. This measure includes advancing new Acela service; introducing the new Airo trainset, which will be built by 2024's end and prepared for testing; and selecting proposals to begin replacing the long-distance fleet. In addition, Amtrak will continue steps toward its net-zero emissions goals and focus on its Safety Management System.

• Growing the business. Amtrak will work with states to develop new and expanded service through the Federal Railroad Administration's Corridor ID Program.

• Improving customer service. Amtrak intends to increase menu offerings, invest in training of its frontline teams, and advance various other service improvements.

• Empowering people. Amtrak anticipates hiring more than 3,500 new employees; implementing a workforce transformation effort; and advancing the railroad's diversity, inclusion and belonging strategy

"Amtrak is working on two overarching objectives in 2024 – improving passenger-train service for our customers and efficiently and effectively carrying out a massive major infrastructure capital program aimed to modernize and upgrade our infrastructure, stations, fleet and technology,” said Amtrak President Roger Harris. “As both a passenger-rail service provider and a major construction company, we are quickly growing and evolving to deliver on both."

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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