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

APTA lauds 'Stand Up' Campaign, Expects Short-Term Fed Funding Fix

FTA Acting Administrator Therese McMillan highlighted a few programs that have been created to help fill the needs of the industry, including the FTA’s Ladders of Opportunity initiative, which made available $100 million in grants for transit agencies to modernize and expand transit bus service specifically for the purpose of connecting disadvantaged and low-income individuals, veterans, seniors, youths, and others with local workforce training, employment centers, healthcare and other vital services.

Americans support gas tax hike, spending revenue on public transit, survey says

One of the proposed federal bills, H.R. 1846, would index the gas tax to inflation and create a bi-partisan, bi-cameral transportation commission that would provide long-term funding of the Highway Trust Fund. Another proposed bill, H.R. 680, would increase the gas tax by five cents per year for three years.

Bipartisan solution to fund Highway Trust Fund introduced

The Bridge to Sustainable Infrastructure Act allows all transportation funding proposals to be considered, while simultaneously ensuring the trust fund remains solvent for no less than 10 years.

Industry celebrates Stand Up 4 Transportation Day

With local events across the country, Stand Up for Transportation Day united the voices of hundreds of organizations, along with local, state and federal elected officials; business and transportation leaders; public transit advocates and transit riders, who called on Congress to take action and pass a long-term surface transportation bill before federal funding expires on May 31.

Proposals to eliminate transit funding would cost U.S. $227 billion

More than 350 organizations in communities across the country call on Congress to
"Stand Up for Transportation" and invest long-term in the nation's transportation infrastructure.

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

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

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