NEW YORK, NY—The good news has rolled in for Amtrak this week, as news broke that the US government will be providing hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funds to help alleviate congestion along the popular Northeast Corridor.
The Federal Department of Transportation has committed $745 million worth of federal funding toward high-speed rail projects in the Northeast Corridor. The construction and renovation projects will allow high-speed Amtrak trains to travel up to 160 miles per hour along the rail line.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the project on Monday, stating that $450 million worth of the funds will be used to upgrade electrical systems and tracks between New York’s Penn Station and Trenton, New Jersey.
The upgrade will allow Acela Express trains to travel to top speeds of 160 mph (up from 135 mph) along a 24 mile stretch between Trenton and New Brunswick, New Jersey. Construction work will begin on that project starting in 2012.
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About $295 million of the government funds will be used for the construction of a new railway bridge at the Harold Interlocking rail junction in the borough of Queens. The project will begin in September of 2012 and will separate Amtrak’s rail lines from Long Island Rail Road and Metro North commuter trains, helping to ease congestion through New York City.