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Rail News: Passenger Rail

NEC Commission unveils 15-year plan to upgrade passenger-rail service

The plan calls for improving mobility and connections along the NEC, including for Amtrak's Acela riders.
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The Northeast Corridor Commission yesterday released Connect NEC 2035 (C35), a 15-year, $117 billion plan calling for the most ambitious reinvestment program in the corridor’s history.

Northeast state governments, the federal government, eight commuter-rail agencies and Amtrak worked together through the NEC Commission to develop a detailed and efficient sequencing of infrastructure investments covering 150 projects and capital renewal efforts along the corridor, commission officials said in a press release.

Commission members hope C35 will result in a modern and resilient railroad with safe, reliable, and more frequent service; connections to new markets; and reduced travel times between communities.

"Improving the NEC rail system is a vital multistate effort," said Amit Bose, deputy administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration and NEC Commission co-chair. "C35 is a sequenced plan and a mobilizing force that not only puts people back at work renewing the NEC, but also supports new travel patterns as our economy returns to full strength."

C35 is the first phase of the long-term vision for the corridor established in the Federal Railroad Administration’s 2017 NEC FUTURE plan to make significant improvements to NEC rail service for both existing and new riders, on both commuter-rail systems and Amtrak.

The plan calls for:
• improving mobility and connections, such as 26-minute faster trips for Acela riders traveling from D.C. to New York City; and daily Amtrak NEC service increases of 33% and doubled service for several commuter railroads;
• creating economic opportunity;
• combating climate change, such as by converting more passenger rides to rail from auto/bus/air; and
• supporting desirable cities and communities, such as by providing reliable access to transit-oriented development.

"The investments in infrastructure laid out in this plan will lead to more modern, reliable, and faster trains, expanded service, and a better customer experience — that will benefit customers, economies and local communities along the entire Northeast Corridor and beyond," said Amtrak President Stephen Gardner.

To read the plan and view territory fact sheets, click here.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/15/2021