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Rail News: High-Speed Rail

USDOT obligates $745 million for NEC improvements


Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced it has obligated nearly $745 million in High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail funds to Amtrak to upgrade some of the Northeast Corridor’s most heavily used sections.

The national intercity passenger railroad received $449.9 million to upgrade electrical systems and tracks between Trenton, N.J., and New York City. Once the work is complete, Amtrak will be able to increase speeds along a 24-mile segment between Trenton and New Brunswick, N.J., from 135 mph to 160 mph. After taking delivery of next-generation high-speed train sets, Amtrak will be able to operate trains at speeds up to 186 mph along the segment.

Amtrak will spend another $294.9 million to upgrade the Harold Interlocking in Queens, which will reduce congestion for intercity and commuter trains, and enable the railroad to increase high-speed rail service. Amtrak will build a flyover to separate Amtrak trains traveling between New York City and Boston from MTA Long Island Rail Road, MTA Metro-North and New Jersey Transit commuter trains.

Pre-construction work between Trenton and New York City is expected to begin in late 2011 with upgrades officially beginning in 2012. Construction on the Harold Interlocking is expected to begin in September 2012.