Amtrak showcases its vision to grow passenger rail services across America
Amtrak is initiating the work to deliver by 2035 more frequent, reliable and sustainable intercity passenger rail services to over 160 more communities and 20 million more passengers annually, as outlined in their ‘Corridor Vision’.
To be implemented in collaboration with states, local communities, the administration and many other stakeholders, the Corridor Vision, released today (27 May 2021) builds upon Amtrak’s national network, integrating new and improved corridors to expand the existing system.
Amtrak CEO, Bill Flynn, said: “Now is the time to invest in our country’s infrastructure and future. New and improved rail service has the ability to change how our country moves and provides cleaner air, less traffic and a more connected country.”
Amtrak’s vision to grow rail service across America includes 39 potential new routes and more trips or other enhancements on 25 existing routes, creating the potential to expand or improve rail service for 20 million additional passengers each year.
The plan calls for improved service in major cities currently underserved by rail such as Houston, Atlanta and Cincinnati and new intercity passenger rail service to cities such as Las Vegas, Nashville, Columbus, Phoenix, and Wichita, with increased access for many towns and cities in between.
The economic benefit of Amtrak’s Corridor Vision is expected to reach $8 billion annually by 2035, with an additional $195 billion in economic activity generated by additional capital investment during 2021–2035. More than 26,000 ongoing permanent jobs plus 616,000 person-years of employment supported by capital investments during 2021–2035 will be created or supported by this vision.
Additionally, this plan offers a significant opportunity to reduce emissions. Travel on Amtrak trains outside the Northeast Corridor (NEC) emits up to 55 per cent fewer greenhouse gases than driving alone, and up to 30 per cent fewer than flying.
In a letter to Congress, Amtrak highlights what it will take to achieve this bold vision.
Bill added: “The American people have waited long enough for a sustainable, world-class intercity passenger rail network. Congress could pass legislation today to start making Amtrak’s vision a reality: create a Corridor Development Program, pass the Intercity Passenger Rail Trust Fund Act and Rail Passenger Fairness Act, and clarify the law to ensure fair access to host railroads for Amtrak growth.”