Amtrak’s $ 80 Billion Plans: Upgrades and New Routes Linking the Country

Amtrak announced on Wednesday night its goals for the next 15 years, if President Joe Biden’s proposed massive $ 2 trillion plan to rebuild the country’s infrastructure is implemented.

As part of this plan, Amtrak plans to allocate $ 80 billion to repair, improve and expand the railway service.

Given this funding injection, Amtrak is envisioning new intercity rail services to 160 previously unserved localities over the next 15 years, including 30 potential new routes and an increase in daily travel on existing routes.

The new routes will open to major cities where there is currently no Amtrak service, such as Las Vegas, Nashville, Columbus, Ohio and Phoenix. The cost of each of the projects has not yet been announced.

“President Biden’s infrastructure rehabilitation plan is what this country has been waiting for,” Amtrak CEO Bill Flynn said in a statement.

Amtrak had financial problems for a long time, it was in desperate need of modernization, which prevented the public corporation from expanding and improving its service and became the subject of regular criticism for its slow and unreliable operation.

On Wednesday, Amtrak released an extensive map showing where the money is going to be spent. The proposals are set out in Amtrak’s ambitious roadmap, a 15-year forecast that will add 20 million new passengers by 2035. Currently, the number of passengers is about 32 million.

The Amtrak plan includes:

  • South routes connecting Atlanta to Nashville, Chattanooga, Tennessee; Savannah and Georgia; Montgomery and Alabama.
  • Routes in Wisconsin connecting Milwaukee, Green Bay, Madison and Eau Claire.
  • New routes from Indianapolis and connection to Louisville.
  • New routes from Las Vegas to Los Angeles and Phoenix to Los Angeles.
  • Updated Texas network, including routes from Houston to Dallas.
  • Routes from New York to Scranton and Allentown in Pennsylvania and a route from Manhattan to Nassau County on Long Island.
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In total, the new routes will allow multiple daily trips to 15 additional states.

Other expanded services will operate on existing lines from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh; New York via Baltimore and Washington DC; San Diego – San Luis Obispo, California; Northwest Corridor through Portland, Oregon and Seattle; and also in Chicago.

The cities selected by Amtrak usually already have railways. But expansion will require the construction of new stations and other infrastructure.

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