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October 30, 2013

Amtrak's Boardman: Stop taking NEC for granted

The Northeast Corridor (NEC) is a national transportation asset and is aging, failure prone and lacks redundant systems to keep it operating in the event of failure, Amtrak President/CEO Joe Boardman told a Congressional committee.

“We must stop taking this vital infrastructure for granted and start investing in the future of the region and the nation,” he said. “We have an infrastructure that, while safe, is vulnerable to service disruptions at virtually any time and place.”

Boardman explained that the process of aging and decaying infrastructure is gradually eroding the serviceability of the railroad as underfunding takes its toll. Lost riders and revenues are the clearest manifestation of the problem when a failure occurs.

He emphasized that funding on the required scale will have to come from a strong coalition that involves the federal government, states, other rail users of the NEC, local government and the private sector where it makes sense.

For a copy of his written testimony, click here.

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