US national railroad company Amtrak and its partners have received $16bn towards modernising infrastructure and improving stations along the Northeast Corridor (NEC) from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).
Amtrak’s $10bn share of the grant funding will be spread across 12 different projects, with the biggest grant of $4.7bn going towards the Frederick Douglass Tunnel programme and it will work alongside another almost $7bn granted to another 13 NEC projects led by Amtrak partners.
FRA Administrator Amit Bose described the funding as a “massive step forward” for the NEC, adding: “Federal funding made possible by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will replace or repair vital Northeast Corridor infrastructure that has been in need of major upgrades for decades.
“25 projects in total will receive funding and that means at least 800,000 daily riders will, in the future, experience fewer delays, faster service and greater convenience.”
The NEC is the busiest passenger rail corridor in the US, with roughly 2,200 Amtrak commuter and freight trains operating a day and covering some of the biggest urban areas in the country, including New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and Baltimore.
The FRA grants will be delivered through the administration’s Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail Programme and include $3.79bn towards the Hudson Tunnel Project led by the Gateway Development Commission and $2.08bn for Amtrak’s Susquehanna River Rail Bridge Project.
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Additionally, the East River Tunnel Rehabilitation Project will receive up to $1.26bn for its work modernising the four tubes connecting New York City to eastern destinations, including fixing the damage caused to two tubes by Superstorm Sandy in 2012. The project has previously been designated a “major backlog project” on the NEC by Amtrak.
Amtrak CEO Stephen Gardner said: “These grants will help advance Amtrak’s plans to modernise the Northeast Corridor and unlock major bottlenecks on the busiest passenger rail corridor in America.”
Funding for the NEC adds to the $1.4bn Amtrak has already received through the FRA and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law towards rail safety and supply chain upgrades in 70 projects across 35 states and Washington D.C.