Friday, April 13, 2012

Amtrak On Pace To Set Ridership Record; Stresses Need For New Rail Tunnels

Amtrak is on pace to set to set another annual ridership record as passenger counts across its national network for the first six months of fiscal year 2012 (October 2011-March 2012) are up 3.7% over the same period last year when the current record was established. Amtrak has set ridership records in eight of the past nine years, including last year, when it carried 30.2 million passengers. Ridership along the Northeast Corridor (Boston to Washington D.C.) has increased 5.2% from the same point last year, and the Keystone Service (New York to Harrisburg) is up 4%. Since 2000, Amtrak's overall ridership is up 44%.

In applauding these gains in ridership, however, Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman stressed the need for more infrastructure investment, particularly along the Northeast Corridor (NEC). Boardman highlighted Amtrak's Gateway Program, which the railroad corporation hopes to complete by 2025, and is a key part of Amtrak's efforts to increase capacity on the over loaded NEC. The long-term plan is to build a new high-speed rail route along the NEC that would allow trains to make the 426-mile trip from Boston to Washington D.C. in 3 hours and 23 minutes. Presently, Amtrak's Acela Express currently makes the trip in 6 hours and 37 minutes.

"Amtrak achieving ridership records is important, but it is more critical that the right infrastructure be in place to continue this trend in the years to come and provide safe, efficient, and reliable rail transportation for all current and future passengers," Boardman said. "To do this in the Northeast, we must advance our proposed Gateway Program, as it is essential for the future growth and economic development of the region."

Amtrak is seeking $35 million this year from Congress to advance plans for its $13.5 billion Gateway Program, by adding two tunnels under the Hudson River, replacing the century-old Portal Bridge near Newark, NJ, and expanding Pennsylvania Station in New York City. As Boardman noted, "We're out of space - in the tunnels, on the tracks, in Penn Station". Boardman explained that the NEC is expected to see significant increase in demand as population in this corridor grows, highway and airport congestion worsens, and gas prices rise. The Gateway Program is Amtrak's response to these conditions.


Anonymous said...

Unearth of hiring T-shirt printing services is simply
also important. Rhinestone T-shirt. are pleasurable
and artistic program of pepping your current dresses.

Review my web-site: prywatny detektyw

Anonymous said...

I read this paragraph completely regarding the comparison of most up-to-date and
earlier technologies, it's awesome article.

Also visit my web-site ...

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | Blogger Templates