Amtrak has revealed applications for almost $8bn of federal funding to work on modernising projects along the Northeast Corridor in the US, expanding its services and improving long-distance reliability. 

The vast majority of the grant funding from the Federal Railroad Administration ($7.3bn) would go towards 14 projects on the Northeast Corridor. 

These include a number of replacement tunnels and bridges, such as the Connecticut River Bridge, the new Gunpower River Bridge and the Pelham Bay Bridge. 

CEO Stephen Gardner explained that the “generational investments” were part of introducing a new era of passenger rail. Gardner said: “Securing these grants would help reaffirm our commitment to improving and replacing critical railroad infrastructure, ensuring better service for years to come.” 

The other $716m in funding applications will cover 16 projects around the US focused on improving long-distance reliability such as rail enhancements on the Empire Builder line in Montana and daily services on the company’s Cardinal and Sunset Limited lines, up from three times a week. 

Amtrak board chair Tony Coscia said: “Amtrak’s long-distance routes are vital mobility and economic links for communities around the country and we’re continually working to enhance them. 

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“These grant applications reiterate our commitment to improving service for all Amtrak customers, from small rural towns to major metropolitan areas.” 

Alongside modernising and replacing infrastructure, the recent applications will also include work on a few stations including the Baltimore Penn station project and work to expand the New York Penn station. 

New York senator and majority senate leader Chuck Schumer said: “I applaud Amtrak for their foresight in applying for this funding through the Federal Railroad Administration’s Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail Program. 

“I strongly support these projects which will keep New Yorkers moving, helping them live, work and thrive.” 

Some of the funding will also go towards projects which have already begun under Amtrak, such as the new Frederick Douglass tunnel in Baltimore, which will replace the Baltimore-Potomac tunnel, the oldest on the Northeast Corridor network at almost 150 years old.

The organisation’s most recent applications came shortly after similar requests for federal funds to carry out a study with the Southern Rail Commission alongside an interstate between New York City, Atlanta and Dallas.