Amtrak enters 2013 with a full and robust agenda of infrastructure upgrade projects, significant milestones for new equipment orders and key actions to advance its Northeast Corridor (NEC) high-speed rail program.
Among the projects include completion of the NEC Niantic River Movable Bridge replacement project, delivery of the first units of new equipment orders for 70 electric locomotives and 130 single-level long-distance passenger cars, expansion of Acela Express high-speed service with an additional New York – Washington round-trip and initiation of the process to acquire next-generation high-speed train sets.
"Amtrak continues to advance and invest in projects that provide both near-term benefits and long-term improvements for the effective delivery and reliability of intercity passenger rail service," said President and CEO Joe Boardman .
During the coming year, three Amtrak-owned or maintained corridors will be under various stages of construction to enhance and ultimately increase rail capacity including the Springfield Line in Conn., the Hudson Line in upstate N.Y. and a section of the NEC in N.J.
In addition, Amtrak anticipates reaching agreement in 2013 with the Michigan Department of Transportation to operate, dispatch and maintain a section of state-owned railroad from Kalamazoo to Dearborn that will lead to track improvements to support 110 mph service.
Other projects in 2013 include: advancing planning work for the Gateway Program to increase tunnel, track and station capacity into Manhattan for intercity, commuter and next-generation high-speed rail service; improving accessibility at stations under requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act; completing installation of Positive Train Control safety technology along the NEC and Keystone Corridor; and upgrading the AmtrakConnect Wi-Fi service to 4G/LTE.
Boardman explained these and other projects support a strong focus on strengthening the Amtrak bottom line and its strategic goals.He said the 2013 agenda builds on the successes from 2012 which saw record ridership, the best-ever system-wide on-time performance, the national launch of eTicketing and the start of new Northeast Regional service to Norfolk, Va., the extension of Downeaster service to Freeport and Brunswick, Maine, and the beginning of 110 mph operations on the Lincoln Service in Illinois and on the Wolverine and Blue Water services in Michigan.