Coons, Murphy push for $55B in capital investments for Northeast Corridor passenger rail
Sens. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, and Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut, led a group of 12 other senators from states along the Northeast Corridor in a letter urging President Joe Biden to support $55 billion in long-term funding for passenger rail infrastructure in order to repair the NEC rail network.
The letter also calls for robust support to expand Amtrak passenger rail service nationwide. The NEC network alone runs 457 miles from Washington, D.C., to Boston, Massachusetts, serving hundreds of thousands of train riders daily via railways, tunnels, and bridges, some of which are over 100 years old. The senators are calling for $55 billion over 10 years in dedicated federal funding to expand commuting zones, create better access to jobs and provide more sustainable transportation to Americans.
“The state-of-good-repair backlog in the NEC has climbed to over $40 billion, and Amtrak and other infrastructure owners lack the long-term funding to address it. Unlike our highway and airway systems, our rail system lacks a dedicated funding stream, and instead relies on Congress to appropriate sufficient funds each and every year,” said the senators. “Working with Amtrak, states, and stakeholders, the Federal Railroad Administration developed a comprehensive long-term corridor-wide vision to bring the NEC into a state of good repair and provide expanded passenger service, but lacks the resources to execute this plan. As a result, Amtrak and other rail carriers on the NEC are trying to deploy a long-term infrastructure plan with a one-year budget outlook that is subject to ever-shifting political priorities.”
The senators concluded, “We encourage your administration to support the long-term funding needed to restore and revitalize the NEC in your infrastructure proposal, and ensure that stakeholders in the corridor are empowered to identify, prioritize and sequence projects in the state of good repair backlog. Investing in rail infrastructure will open up corridors of booming economic growth, help meet our climate goals, and increase our international competitiveness. Expanding passenger rail service across the country should be a top priority for any clean infrastructure agenda.”