Finally, Talk of Growth:Quick Reactions to the FRA’s Long Distance Study Last week, the Federal Railroad Administration presented a proposed list of routes to be studied, as well as some initial thoughts about governance. The proposal would add 15 long-distance...
The Federal Railroad Administration has launched the Amtrak Daily Long-Distance Service Study.
The goal of this study is to create a long-term vision for long-distance passenger rail service and identify capital projects and funding needed to implement that vision.
This study is a requirement from the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which states that the FRA is required to conduct a study to evaluate the restoration of daily intercity passenger rail service along:
- Any Amtrak long-distance routes that were discontinued; and
- Any Amtrak long-distance routes that occur on a non-daily basis;
- In evaluating intercity passenger rail routes, FRA may evaluate potential new Amtrak long-distance routes, including with specific attention provided to routes in services as of April 1971 but not continued by Amtrak, taking into consideration whether these new routes would:
- Link and serve large and small communities as part of a regional rail network
- Advance the economic and social well-being of rural areas
- Provide enhanced connectivity for the national long-distance passenger rail system
- Reflect public engagement and local and regional support for restored passenger rail service.
It’s exciting to see this study begin to take shape, as we believe long-distance trains can be the foundation for improving and expanding our entire national rail network.
In order for this effort to be successful, it’s critical to get mayors across the country engaged in the process and advocating for more frequent service, shorter travel times and improved rolling stock.
The FRA is conducting a public engagement process until late 2023 and the Alliance will alert you and your elected officials about how to provide feedback, and ensure that this program is a success.
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