Congressmen Mike Fitzpatrick (R, PA-8) and David Cicilline (D, RI-1) today applauded the recent decision by U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to fund rail improvements along the Northeast Corridor that will help boost capacity, accelerate speeds, and improve service.
Earlier this month, on August 3rd, Fitzpatrick and Cicilline wrote to Secretary LaHood urging the expedited obligation of $472 million for projects along the Northeast Corridor so that funds are not reallocated to projects outside the region. This week LaHood announced nearly $745 million in funding of two projects including improvements of sections between Trenton and New Brunswick, New Jersey that will allow Amtrak Acela trains to reach speeds of 160 mph and a separate project to alleviate Northeast Corridor rail traffic passing through New York City.
"Fast and efficient train service along the Northeast Corridor is essential to the movement of people and business in the most densely populated part of the United States," said Fitzpatrick and Cicilline in a joint statement. "With increasing gas prices and outdated infrastructure, rail is becoming an increasingly critical component of our nation's transportation system and our economy. From Bucks County to Providence, we applaud Secretary LaHood for his commitment to rail improvements that run through the hearts of our districts and the heart of America's commercial centers. Most importantly, these projects will create substantial construction and engineering jobs that will help put America back to work while improving our transportation network."
The Northeast corridor serves 13 million passengers annually, accounting for 52 percent of Amtrak passengers. Additionally, 19 of Amtrak's busiest stations are located along the Northeast Corridor. Construction on both projects is expected to begin in 2012.