Feature Stories - 2013

Experts Tackle Improvement in the Overcrowded Northeast Rail Corridor

    Release Date: 4/1/2013

    Abt SRBI’s transportation experts have joined a nationally recognized team of planners, engineers, and other experts to work with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to assess the future of rail service along the heavily used, outdated, and overcrowded Northeast Corridor.
    Northeast Corridor Amtrak intercity and local commuter trains carry about 11 million passengers a year from Boston to Washington. Every weekday, another approximately 831,000 people depend on Northeast Corridor commuter rail services that use Amtrak-owned infrastructure, dispatching, or shared operations, or they ride commuter trains operated or maintained by Amtrak under contracts with local or regional agencies.
    Options span the spectrum from minor improvements to a major reconstruction that will completely transform the way we travel today. Such a transformation may involve a new high-speed Northeast rail corridor that would cut travel time between major cities in half. Also under consideration are new overland and underwater routes that will join inner-state urban areas and a more robust system of connections between the corridor’s commuter rail lines and Amtrak’s intercity trains.
    Abt SRBI’s role is to design and conduct a major survey among nearly 15,000 travelers in the region. The survey will help the FRA determine the best strategies for investing in the nation's busiest rail corridor through 2040.
    An interactive map, prepared by the Brookings Institution, of travel on all of Amtrak’s routes show the extent of U.S. rail travel.