Federal Rail Funding Announcement Begins Addressing a Century of Neglect

Big news on federal infrastructure funding arrived this week. The Federal Railroad Administration awarded more than $16 billion in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), for rail projects in the Northeast Corridor. The 25 supported projects will upgrade bridges, tunnels, tracks, and more. This will benefit Amtrak’s higher-speed service, the Acela, which runs between Washington and Boston, as well as regional and commuter-rail lines spanning seven northeastern states.

This investment will replace or improve infrastructure that passenger rail in this part of the United States depends on, such as the Baltimore and Potomac Tunnel and the Susquehanna River Rail Bridge.

But this is just a start.

The serious needs addressed by this funding show the consequences of deferring maintenance for more than a hundred years. Instead of providing consistent world-class speed and service, these newly funded projects focus on catching up, by increasing safety and efficiency for existing service.

And the rail network for the rest of the United States, too, needs at least this level of investment. Just like on the Northeast Corridor, people in every region of the country would benefit from faster, more comfortable trains, with convenient arrivals and departures throughout the day.

Instead of sporadic investment in select lines, the creation of a National Network Plan is one of the Alliance’s top priorities. The United States needs dependable rail funding, year after year, to upgrade infrastructure nationwide, to build transformative high-speed lines, and to integrate those lines into our overall transportation network.

If you agree, please donate to the High Speed Rail Alliance. The Alliance is a member-driven movement, and it is urgent to grow this movement now. As new funding rolls out, we can make a bigger impact together, by shaping plans to invest in the most worthwhile projects and to accelerate progress.

House Vote on Transportation Budget Delayed Indefinitely

The House has indefinitely delayed the vote on transportation spending bill H.R. 4820. This bill would have significantly cut funding for passenger rail throughout the country, and would have been a huge step backwards.

Thank you to everyone who contacted their Representative, asking them to vote no on this bill. Your message came through loud and clear. 

Acela Chicago Union Station
Adam Auxier is looking out the dutch door of an excursion trains.

11/17 Webinar: Liability Insurance, a Major Hurdle

Speaker: Adam Auxier, CEO, Rail Excursion Management Co.

Time: Friday November 17, 12pm – 1pm CT

Liability insurance is one of the biggest, but least talked about, hurdles to establishing intercity passenger rail in the United States.

A single accident has the potential to put an entire railroad company out of business. This is an important issue that Congress must take solve if the US is to build an integrated passenger rail network across the country.

We are excited to be joined by an expert on the topic who will give us an overview of this issue.

Register Here

Webinar Video: High Speed Rail at O’Hare Airport

We were joined by the authors of a new study, “Exploring the Potential of Providing High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Service to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.”

This study was commissioned by the High Speed Rail Alliance to better understand the impact of connecting fast, frequent and affordable trains to O’Hare Airport. The study examines examples of rail connections around the world, and how they benefit travelers, bring economic benefits to the region, and extend an airport’s regional reach.

Learn about the key findings of this study and suggestions for next steps towards creating a high-speed rail hub at O’Hare Airport.

Watch the Video

A conceptual drawing of a railroad station in a tunnel under O'Hare Terminal 2

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