$745 Million For Northeast Corridor Rail is Saved

A $450 million grant for the Northeast Corridor should lead to more reliable service on NJ Transit and Amtrak.

USDOT announced today that it has released $745 million for two high-speed rail projects to improve service on the Northeast Corridor in New Jersey and New York. The move ensures that Amtrak will receive the grants, which were put at risk when the House voted to cut high-speed rail funding and use the funds for flood relief instead as part of an energy and water appropriations bill. (Some rail projects elsewhere in the country may still be at risk; the bill is currently in the Senate Appropriations Committee).

New Jersey Senators Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in July urging that USDOT release the funds before they could be rescinded by potential Congressional action. Elected officials in both New York and New Jersey helped push for the Northeast Corridor grants, which were awarded in May after Florida rejected its grant.

One $450 million grant will be used for catenary wire and other improvements between Trenton and New York City and create a 24-mile segment of track capable of supporting train speeds up to 160 mph between Trenton and New Brunswick, NJ, according to USDOT. The other $295 million grant will untangle the Harold Interlocking in Queens, a convergence of tracks where Amtrak, LIRR, and NJ Transit trains (headed to a storage yard in Queens) merge.

The reliability improvements in New Jersey should provide relief for NJ Transit and Amtrak riders, who have suffered through another delay-filled summer on the Northeast Corridor. Clearing up the interlocking will reduce delays for both Amtrak and the LIRR.

Photo: Via wn.com.

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6 comments to $745 Million For Northeast Corridor Rail is Saved

  • clever title

    The single biggest improvement would still be replacing the Portal Bridge, even if the THE tunnel stays dead.

  • […] U.S. DOT Will Devote $745 Million to Amtrak and New York Rail Improvements (Transpo Nation, MTR) […]

  • AlexB

    How long will it take for these projects to be complete?

  • The biggest single improvement would be getting new trainsets. There’s about 25 minutes to be saved out of getting decent rolling stock and doing minor track repairs just on the Providence Line.

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  • With such a huge amount they should setup some good transportation plan which is acceptable and provides great service in the near future. A proper project planning is expected to deliver great results. Hope for the best!

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