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Rail News: High-Speed Rail

Amtrak creates HSR department


Today, Amtrak announced it is establishing a new department to pursue high-speed rail opportunities in select corridors throughout the country and planning “major improvements” on the Northeast Corridor.

Amtrak’s board recently approved plans to create a new High Speed Rail department to better position the national intercity passenger railroad to maximize opportunities available in the “new intercity passenger-rail environment,” according to a press release. The department will be led by a vice president who reports directly President and Chief Executive Officer Joseph Boardman. Amtrak plans to fill the position quickly.

“Amtrak is the unparalleled leader in high-speed rail operations in America today and we intend to be a major player in the development and operation of new corridors,” said Boardman in a prepared statement.

The new department will focus on the Amtrak-owned Northeast Corridor and determine ways to reduce trip times between Washington, D.C., and New York City, and New York City and Boston. The department also will seek to increase train frequencies and determine the feasibility of increasing top train speeds to 220 mph.

In addition, the department will be charged with pursuing partnerships with states and other passenger-rail industry players to develop federally designated high-speed rail corridors, such as in California and Florida.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/22/2010