US national railroad Amtrak is hoping to double ridership by 2040, with a new plan to advance key initiatives on infrastructure, customer experience, and rolling stock.
Bolstered by continued funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, the passenger railroad is hoping that a focus on improving services and carrying out its major $5.5bn infrastructure capital programme for FY2024 will support its goal of reaching 66 million annual riders in the next two decades.
Amtrak president Roger Harris said: “Amtrak is working on two overarching objectives in 2024 – improving passenger train service for our customers and efficiently and effectively carrying out a massive major infrastructure capital programme aimed to modernise and upgrade our infrastructure, stations, fleet, and technology.
“As both a passenger rail service provider and a major construction company, we are quickly growing and evolving to deliver on both.”
The railroad has invested heavily in infrastructure across its network, which spans 46 states and three Candian provinces, with aid from the infrastructure bill allowing key projects to receive billions of dollars of funding.
One such project, improving the Northeast Corridor, received $16bn in November between Amtrak and its partners and was highlighted as a key part of the 24% increase in passengers seen on the Amtrak network in FY2023.
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In addition to these investments, the railroad also highlighted movement on the modernisation of its rolling stock fleet, with the first Amtrak Airo expected to be nearly fully built by the end of the year and proposals soon to be selected for the replacement of its long-distance fleet.
Within its workforce, the company said it will hire more than 3,500 new employees to rebuild existing infrastructure and meet growing passenger demand, with an emphasis on customer service as part of its new training programme.