The US Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has recommended a 30-year programme of route modernisation as part of its proposal to develop the North East Corridor (NEC), linking Boston, New York, and Washington DC.
Prior to making this recommendation, the FRA worked with the north-east states, federal and state partner agencies.
US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said: “The Department of Transportation believes that investing in this vision for the North East Corridor must happen, because rail does more than take us places; it provides us with opportunities and connects us to the future.
“While building this recommendation would require significant investment, the cost of doing nothing is much greater. The communities and the economies of the north-east cannot grow and flourish without significant, new investment.”
The recommendation will provide more options by adding new tracks to increase the NEC to four tracks in most locations allowing for frequent service.
Additional tracks will also be added to areas with greater demand.
FRA administrator Sarah Feinberg said: “We need a corridor that provides more options and more trains for commuters.
“A corridor that provides streamlined connections between a city’s airports and its city centre. And a corridor that can efficiently and reliably serve a population that is growing quickly.”
Further intercity access will be provided to Philadelphia Airport and direct, in addition to adding frequent service to Hartford, Connecticut, and Springfield, Massachusetts.
The recommendation will also improve travel times from Boston to New York City, and from there to Washington DC.
Expected to help generate 47,000 jobs a year for 30 years, it includes projects that will allow for faster service, along with more options for commuters and travellers.