Biden-Harris Administration Awards Amtrak $10 billion

Posted: 7 November 2023 | | No comments yet

The American railway company Amtrak have been awarded $10 billion by the Biden-Harris administration, to complete several NEC projects.

Amtrak has been awarded nearly $10 billion in Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) funding from the Biden-Harris Administration to modernise critical infrastructure, improve stations and support future ridership growth on the Northeast Corridor (NEC). This historic funding comes at a critical time as NEC ridership continues to rise, consistently exceeding pre-pandemic levels since early summer as Amtrak delivers a new era of passenger rail.

“These grants will help advance Amtrak’s plans to modernise the Northeast Corridor and unlock major bottlenecks on the busiest passenger rail corridor in America,” said Amtrak CEO Stephen Gardner. “I want to thank President Biden, USDOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg and FRA Administrator Amit Bose for their continued support as Amtrak and our partners rebuild this critical infrastructure asset.”

The grants announced today will support 12 Amtrak-led projects through the FRA’s Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail Programme (Fed-State NEC):

  • Frederick Douglass Tunnel Programme (up to $4.7B)
  • Susquehanna River Rail Bridge Project(up to $2.08B)
  • East River Tunnel Rehabilitation Project(up to $1.26B)
  • Connecticut River Bridge Replacement Project(up to $826.64M)
  • Dock Bridge Rehabilitation Project (up to $300.18M)
  • Sawtooth Bridges Replacement Project (up to $133.32M)
  • Baltimore Penn Station Redevelopment(up to $108.32M)
  • Pelham Bay Bridge Replacement Project (up to $58.27M)
  • Gunpowder River Bridge Replacement Programme (up to $30M)
  • NEC South End Infrastructure Renewal and Speed Improvement Planning Study (up to $21.6M)
  • Bush River Bridge Replacement Programme (up to $18.8M)
  • New Haven to Providence Capacity Planning Study (up to $4M)

Another 13 NEC projects led by Amtrak’s partners also received funding, including:

  • Hudson Tunnel Project – Gateway Development Commission (up to $3.79B)
  • Penn Station Access – MTA (up to $1.64B)
  • Walk Bridge Replacement Project – CTDOT (up to $465M)
  • Devon Bridge Replacement Project – CTDOT (up to $245.92M)
  • Delco Lead – NJ TRANSIT (up to $180.9M)
  • New Haven Line Power Improvement Programme – CTDOT (up to $122.8M)
  • Devon Bridge Interim Repairs – CTDOT (up to $119.32M)
  • Hartford Line Rail Programme Double Track (Phase 3B) Project – CTDOT (up to $104.86M)
  • New Haven Line Track Improvement and Mobility Enhancement Part 1 and 3 – CTDOT (up to $71.64M)
  • Newark Penn Station Vertical Circulation Improvements – NJ TRANSIT (up to $59.2M)
  • Reconstruction of Cornwells Heights Station – SEPTA (up to $30.5M)
  • Saugatuck River Bridge Replacement – CTDOT (up to $23.2M)
  • New Haven Line Network Infrastructure Upgrade Project – CTDOT (up to $15.4M)

“Under President Biden, we are finally delivering the generational investments in passenger rail that Americans have wanted for years, including modernizing the busiest rail corridor in the country,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “These investments will make our busiest passenger railroad safer, faster, and more reliable, which means fewer delays and shorter commutes for the 800,000 passengers who rely on the Northeast Corridor every day.”

“President Biden’s Investing in America agenda includes unprecedented investments in rail—investments that are already creating jobs, impacting communities, and laying the foundation for world-class passenger rail in America,” said FRA Administrator Amit Bose. “Today’s $16.4 billion investment in projects of national significance is a massive step forward to do even more. Federal funding made possible by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will replace or repair vital Northeast Corridor infrastructure that has been in need of major upgrades for decades. Twenty-five projects in total will receive funding, and that means at least 800,000 daily riders will, in the future, experience fewer delays, faster service, and greater convenience on America’s busiest rail corridor.”

These new grant awards are a major step in delivering on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act’s (IIJA) vision for expanded and improved passenger rail.

In September 2023, the FRA awarded Amtrak nearly $200 million through the CRISI grant program. Amtrak has also submitted additional federal grant applications to improve its long distance and state supported services through the FRA’s Corridor ID Program and separate Fed-State Partnership Programme funding for projects outside the NEC. Those grant award announcements are anticipated later this year.

The NEC is one of the busiest and economically vital transportation systems in the world. It serves the Northeast’s five major metropolitan regions – Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington. Hundreds of thousands of people rely on the approximately 2200 Amtrak commuter and freight trains. Amtrak also provides dispatching services and electric propulsion power.