You are here

Amtrak

Amtrak and American jobs rolling forward with new locomotives

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of riding Amtrak from Washington, DC, to Philadelphia with the president of the Amtrak Fan Club. Of course, that title is unofficial and it comes with very few responsibilities because Amtrak's number one fan, Joe Biden, is already very busy as our nation's Vice President.

As Vice President Biden knows, it’s a good time to be in the Amtrak fan club. And it's not just because Amtrak has broken ridership record for ten of the past eleven years, reaching nearly 32 million riders in 2013.

It's because yesterday in Philadelphia--thanks to DOT support--Amtrak put into service the largest fleet of new electric locomotives built in the United States since World War II.

Photo of V.P. Biden and Secretary Foxx in the cab of the new Amtrak locomotive; photo courtesy Phildelphia Inquirer, Tom Gralish
Photo courtesy Philadelphia Inquirer, Tom Gralish

Missouri Railroad Bridge Completed Early, Under Budget

In preparation for another record Thanksgiving holiday week, Amtrak is running every available passenger rail car in its fleet, while adding additional service in the Northeast Corridor, the Chicago hub, the Pacific Northwest, and in California.

This is hardly a surprise.  As I wrote on this blog recently, Amtrak has set annual ridership records in 10 out of the last 11 years, fueled by a growing demand in more than 500 communities nationwide.  That includes Missouri, where Amtrak’s Missouri River Runner – operating on a 238-mile rail line serving eight cities between St. Louis and Kansas City – has set six consecutive annual ridership records. 

Photo of F.R.A. Administrator Joe Szabo at the rail bridge opening
FRA Administrator Joe Szabo; photo courtesy Cathy Morrison, Missouri Department of Transportation.

Yesterday, in Osage City, I joined Missouri DOT, Union Pacific, and Amtrak at a ribbon cutting for a new railroad bridge that will eliminate the rail line’s last chokepoint between Jefferson City and St. Louis. And in addition to benefiting four daily passenger trains, the new railroad bridge also reduces delays for 60 daily freight trains, which is great news for Missouri’s farmers, manufacturers, and businesses...

Amtrak ridership breaks 10th record in 11 years

You might have noticed that a number of my recent blog posts have reached a similar conclusion:  that rail deserves a predictable and reliable federal funding stream.  The most recent news supporting this comes from Amtrak, which recently announced their 10th annual ridership record in 11 years.  Amtrak carried 31.6 million passengers in Fiscal Year 2013.  And as you can see from this chart below, the railroad’s ridership has grown more than 50 percent since 2000.

New Amtrak locomotives in rigorous testing

DOT's Transportation Technology Center puts American-made Cities Sprinter through its paces

In May, the first of Amtrak's new fleet of electric locomotives, called Cities Sprinters, rolled out of the Siemens plant in Sacramento. They were manufactured in America by Americans, and they featured parts and materials from more than 70 different American suppliers in 60 different U.S. cities. They are faster, more reliable, more sustainable, and easier to maintain  than the locomotives they'll replace.

And, at the DOT Transportation Technology Center (TTC) in Pueblo, Colorado, the Federal Railroad Administration is making sure that they are--first and foremost--safe.

Photo of Amtrak Cities Sprinter on test track as observers watch

U.S. Transportation Deputy Secretary Porcari Announces $120 Million for Connecticut to Increase Train Service and Improve Travel Times

U.S. Transportation Deputy Secretary John Porcari today announced that the state of Connecticut will receive $120 million in High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail program funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation to complete construction on the Hartford segment of the New Haven to Springfield, Mass. passenger rail corridor.  Once the project is complete in 2016, 11 additional round-trip trains will travel between Hartford and New Haven, for a total of 17 trains traveling the line, compared to six today.

Subscribe to RSS - Amtrak