NEW YORK — The Northeast Corridor is an “asset of national importance” and requires significant upgrades in order ensure it remains in good working order, the head of Amtrak recently told a subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.
“It is aging and failure prone, and lacks redundant systems to keep it operating in the event of failure,” Amtrak President and CEO Joseph Boardman said during last month’s hearing. “…In its current state, our system faces the threat of a major failure — with comparable impacts to this incident in terms of disruption — on a daily basis, for much of our infrastructure is aging and heavily trafficked, while capital investment has lagged.”
The 4457-mile-long Northeast Corridor, which runs between Washington and Boston, sees more than 2,100 commuter trains, 150 intercity trains and 60 freight trains every day.
“We must stop taking this vital infrastructure for granted and start investing in the future of the region and the nation,” Boardman testified. “And we must not only address the current vulnerabilities, but also provide the capacity that is urgently needed — not just for the decades of growth we expect to see, but the ongoing growth that is stretching a fragile and vulnerable but nevertheless vital transportation system.”