Amtrak mismanaged high-speed project, GAO says

Posted on March 10, 2004

The goal of three-hour train service between Boston and New York was not met because Amtrak mismanaged the project, according to a report released Monday by the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO). In 1992, Congress ordered the Transportation Department to develop a plan for reducing the train trip between the two cities from four hours to three hours or less, reported the Associated Press. A total of $3.2 billion was spent on the project through March 2003. The trip now takes three hours, 24 minutes. According to the GAO report, Amtrak didn't develop a long-term plan, anticipate problems or coordinate with state governments and commuter railroads that use the same tracks. The report also said the railroad has yet to make infrastructure improvements, including straightening curves and replacing movable bridges, said the news service. Amtrak President David Gunn said in a letter that the report ignored Amtrak's problems with contractors. Gunn also said that it is generally acknowledged that the only way to cut travel time between the Boston and New York is to offer nonstop service.

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