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Rail News: High-Speed Rail

Northeast Corridor commission holds first meeting


Last month, the Northeast Corridor Infrastructure and Operations Advisory Commission held its inaugural meeting in Washington, D.C.

Created under the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008, the commission is directed by Congress to develop goals and recommendations for the Northeast Corridor that will help expand and improve intercity, commuter and freight rail. The commission also will develop a formula for allocating costs and revenues among corridor users and owners, and develop a report on the role Amtrak’s corridor service plays in the region’s economic development.

During the first meeting, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood urged the group to bring together the region’s leaders to revitalize the economy and transportation system by advancing a new generation of high-speed rail, according to a press release issued by the Delaware Department of Transportation.

Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), Republican leader of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, also spoke to the group, emphasizing the Northeast Corridor as a key asset. The corridor and its network of connecting rail lines serve a region where population density, extensive intercity travel, multiple metropolitan and town centers, and intermodal connections are ideally suited for higher-speed passenger-rail systems, he said.

In addition, Amtrak officials briefed the commission on its vision for high-speed rail in the Northeast Corridor.

Meanwhile, the commission elected Delaware Department of Transportation Secretary Carolann Wicks chair; USDOT Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy Roy Kienitz first vice chair; and Amtrak Vice President of Policy and Development Stephen Gardner second vice chair.

The commission comprises representatives from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), Amtrak, District of Columbia and the eight states the Northeast Corridor serves: Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/12/2010