In a hearing before the Senate Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety, and Security, Amtrak President and CEO Wick Moorman called for a new era of investment in Amtrak’s infrastructure, fleet, and stations, which are critical to the operations and future growth of passenger rail.
“The time is now to invest in our aging assets,” Moorman testified. “More than ever, our nation and the traveling public rely on Amtrak for mobility, but the future of Amtrak depends on whether we can renew the cars, locomotives, bridges, tunnels, stations and other infrastructure that allows us to meet these growing demands.”
Moorman noted that in fiscal year 2016 Amtrak had record ridership of more than 31 million passengers and ticket revenues of $2.2 billion. “I’m certain that we can get even better by relentlessly improving our safety culture, modernizing and upgrading our products and strengthening our operational efficiency and project delivery.” Moorman stressed that Amtrak’s job is to deliver the services and run the network that Congress and the Administration – the principal stakeholders – believe is worth the investment.
To do so, Amtrak needs additional support from Congress and the Administration. After 45 years of service, many of Amtrak’s assets are at the end of their useful life. For example, Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor, with 363 miles of Amtrak-owned infrastructure, is North America’s busiest railroad with 2,200 daily high-speed, commuter and freight trains, but was largely built over 100 years ago.
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