Amtrak Rail Improvements Thanks to Biden’s Infrastructure Act


Thanks in part to this, long-needed improvements are coming to rail travel along the nation’s busiest Northeast Corridor Federal Infrastructure Fund Package President Joe Biden signed the law into law in the fall of 2021.

President is doing Two big financial announcements this week Two projects — to address bottlenecks in century-old rail tunnels in Baltimore and New York City — have struggled for years to raise enough money to get off the ground.

Construction is expected to begin early this year, but could take several years.

In Maryland, two new tubes for Amtrak and Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) trains will replace the 150-year-old Baltimore and Potomac Tunnel.

Running under densely populated West Baltimore, the 1.4-mile tunnel is the oldest of the Northeast Corridor railroads and is the only route for some trains south from Baltimore Penn Station to Washington, DC and Virginia.

More than 10% trains are late on weekdays Amtrak. The tight curves in the tunnel currently require trains to slow down to 30 mph. The tunnel also suffers from various age-related problems such as excessive water infiltration, deteriorating structure and a sinking floor.

The improvements are expected to nearly triple capacity on the tunnel and smooth the curves, allowing trains to travel at speeds of up to 110 miles per hour. There are also plans for new signal systems, five new road and railroad bridges in the area surrounding the subway, and a new Americans with Disabilities Act-accessible West Baltimore MARC station.

The White House said Monday The program will receive up to $4.7 billion in funding from the Infrastructure Act. Maryland’s Department of Transportation has provided $450 million. In total, the new subway project is expected to cost about $6 billion.

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The project previously received $44 million through a 2009 federal stimulus package known as the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act for preliminary engineering and permitting. But there is no viable source of funding to continue construction.

The new tunnel will be named after Marylander and abolitionist Frederick Douglass.

About 200,000 passengers travel on Amtrak or New Jersey Transit trains that run between New York and New Jersey under the Hudson River each week.

The tunnel, which first opened in 1910, has many age-related problems and suffered damage in 2012 when Hurricane Sandy submerged the pipes in salt water.

At an early stage, Most recent programs are required Building a new railroad tunnel under the Hudson River and then rehabilitating the existing tunnel, known as the North River Tunnel.

In 2019, New York and New Jersey were created Gateway Development Authority Help facilitate planning. Last year, the commission estimated the cost at $16.1 billion and expected a 2038 completion date.

Funding sources are still being determined, but are expected to include federal, state, local and private funding.

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie Killed the previous version of the project In 2010, a new tunnel should be constructed.

The White House said Tuesday Amtrak, the owner of the subway, will receive a $292 million grant from the Infrastructure Act to help complete the construction of an underground concrete lining on the Manhattan side of the river. The Concrete cover It will protect the new subway line from the edge of the Hudson River to New York’s Penn Station.

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The White House has said that if the enclosure is not built now, foundations from the new Hudson Yards development will block the tunnel’s path and make the project more difficult.

A $1.2 trillion federal infrastructure package was signed into law in November 2021 after gaining bipartisan support in Congress. It would provide about $550 billion in new federal investments over five years for everything from bridges and roads to the nation’s public transit, broadband, water and energy systems.

Funds are provided in two ways: through formula programs that send money directly to states, and through competitive grant programs for which state and local agencies must apply.

Many formula programs have long sent federal money to the states annually, but now provide more funding over a five-year period under the Infrastructure Act.

For example, the Federal Highway Administration released nearly $60 billion to states last year through 12 formula programs to support investment in roads, bridges and tunnels; reduction of carbon emissions; and security improvements. That’s a $15.4 billion increase compared to fiscal year 2021, the fiscal year before the Infrastructure Act took effect.

Dozens of large, specific projects have been selected for funding through grant programs over the past year. Funding for the Infrastructure for America grant program (known as INFRA), which is designed for freight and highway projects of national or regional importance, increased by more than 50% last year. About $1.5 billion was released 26 transport projects in September.

In August, Rebuilding America’s Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity program called RAISE, Issued $2.2 billion 166 for specific road, bridge, transit, rail, port or intermodal transport projects across the country. In 2021, the program will only be able to fund 90 projects.

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The Infrastructure Act created new funding programs such as the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program. $615 million to states last year. That money can be used to install public electric vehicle charging stations.

This story has been updated with additional information.

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