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Editor's note: This story has been updated with a comment from Amtrak CEO Stephen Gardner.
The Federal Railroad Administration today released its priorities for intercity passenger-rail service on the Northeast Corridor (NEC) between Boston and Washington, D.C.
The list will advance projects designed to improve and develop commuter and intercity passenger-rail service along the corridor. Specifically, the "project inventory" creates a project pipeline to assist Amtrak, states and the public with long-term planning that will improve service.
The project inventory will guide up to $24 billion in funding that FRA is investing in NEC intercity passenger-rail service through the Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail Program, FRA officials said in a press release.
"These projects will deliver the modern infrastructure needed to improve the reliability and performance of train travel throughout the Northeast and establish a pipeline of critical future improvements projects. We appreciate Administrator Bose’s and Secretary Buttigieg’s leadership in developing this inventory and look forward to working with our partners to pursue future USDOT grants, including those provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, to advance the projects listed in the inventory," said Amtrak CEO Stephen Gardner in a prepared statement.
The first NEC project inventory consists of 68 projects divided into 15 major backlog projects and 53 capital renewal, stations and improvement projects. These projects will reverse a decades-long underinvestment in the country’s infrastructure by replacing and rehabilitating vital rail assets while also planning for major rail station upgrades and expansions, FRA officials said.
Projects on the NEC must be on the NEC project inventory to be eligible for partnership program funding, for which FRA will issue a notice of funding opportunity before the end of the year, they said.