The Northeast Corridor is a national transportation asset and Congress should stop taking it for granted, Amtrak President and Chief Executive Officer Joe Boardman told a Senate committee yesterday.
The corridor is aging, failure prone and lacks redundant systems to keep it operating in the event of failure, Boardman told the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, which met in Bridgeport, Conn., yesterday to discuss the causes of a recent power failure on MTA Metro-North Railroad’s New Haven Line.
The Federal Railroad Administration is currently managing a comprehensive planning effort to define, evaluate and prioritize future levels of investment in the Northeast Corridor (NEC) through 2040.
This effort, launched in February 2012 and called NEC FUTURE, will produce a Service Development Plan that articulates the overall scope, alternatives and approach for proposed improvements, and a Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement that evaluates and identifies ways to address broad, corridor-wide environmental impacts due to these improvements.
This process is a federally-required step before major construction to overhaul the corridor’s aging, unreliable, and congested infrastructure can begin.