Government Issues

Amtrak chief: Reduced NEC investment having negative results

Posted on June 12, 2013

The reduced level of federal investment in Northeast Corridor (NEC) infrastructure has resulted in a cumulative degradation of its components, nearing the loss of asset functionality and decreased reliability of the system that threatens the successful continuity of passenger rail operations, Amtrak President/CEO Joe Boardman told a Congressional committee late last week.

"There is insufficient NEC infrastructure investment to meet both the ongoing normalized replacement and the backlog capital requirements. And that means we are eating our assets alive," he explained.

Boardman said this de-capitalization of NEC assets leads to rapidly increasing degradation of ride quality, reliability and the ability to support major improvement projects.

He urged the federal government to act now and use the opportunity of rail reauthorization legislation to take the lead in funding a major program to build out the NEC infrastructure needed for the coming century. Amtrak shares the NEC with eight commuter railroads and its infrastructure supports the movement of 260 million intercity and commuter rail passengers each year. Several of the most important segments, such as the New York tunnels, are at capacity with ridership demand at record levels and growing.

Boardman noted Amtrak needs $782 million every year for the next 15 years just for the costs of NEC normalized replacement ($386 million) and the backlog of infrastructure work ($396 million). That level of funding will allow Amtrak to run a safe railroad at maximum allowed track speed, maintain an excellent on-time performance and meet the basic needs of those who want to develop real estate along the NEC and fill their development with the people who they expect to come by train. However, it will not address needed capacity improvements, trip-time reductions or other new initiatives.

He reminded committee members that after Amtrak was given control of the NEC in 1976 during the Conrail process, it was followed by several significant, federally-funded repair and improvement programs which transformed the dilapidated mid-century rail operation it inherited into the successful high-rail speed rail route it is today.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

FTA issues proposed rule to help agencies achieve state of good repair

dentifying and prioritizing maintenance and repair needs of transit vehicles and infrastructure could lower costs, increase reliability and performance, reduce travel delays for passengers, promote resilience and yield system safety improvements.

Conn. looking to expand BRT system

The State Bond Commission will vote next week on a $7 million allocation that will allow CDOT to purchase buses and other capital equipment necessary to expand CTfastrak east of the Connecticut River into East Hartford and Manchester.

Congress unlikely to take up long-term transportation bill

The U.S. Department of Transportation reportedly told Congress that the Highway Trust Fund isn’t going bankrupt as soon as expected, according to the report. Congress, though, would still need to reauthorize the program soon, with it now likely that it will probably be a three-year bill.

Senator calls for increased public transit security

Sen. Richard Blumenthal made his first the call for more security in May during the TSA administrator’s confirmation hearing. He said the security and safety enhancement were mandated by Congress in 2007, but are still not implemented.

Phoenix voters approve sales tax increase to fund transportation

Elements of the plan include building an additional 42 miles of light rail throughout the city, providing late night bus and Dial-a-Ride service citywide and repaving over 680 miles of arterial streets.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment


Work Truck Magazine

The resource for managers of class 1-7 truck Fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close