Biden Allocates $16.4 Billion to Improve Railroads in America’s Northeast | economy
The President of the United States was nicknamed Joe Biden Amtrak Joe He made almost daily trips between Wilmington (Delaware) and Washington while he was a senator. Amtrak is an interstate passenger rail network, American Renfe. The president has chosen Wilmington, named after him, as the station to announce a multimillion-dollar investment to modernize the nation’s busiest rail line in the northeastern United States this Monday. Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor will include 25 projects worth $16.4 billion (about 15.282 million euros).
The 2021 Infrastructure Act, approved in Congress with bipartisan support, provides $66 billion in total rail investments since Amtrak was created in 1971. A year before an election, mobilizing public investments is the president’s trump card. Boost the economy and boost popularity in the face of re-election expected to be very close.
The investments announced this Monday will rebuild over 100-year-old tunnels and bridges; They will improve roads, power systems, signals, stations and other infrastructure; And the White House said it will pursue future plans to significantly improve travel times by increasing speeds and reducing delays.
Combined with Amtrak’s nearly $9 billion fleet replacement plan, which will replace more than 1,000 locomotives and railcars with state-of-the-art American-made equipment, “these investments will ensure that rail service is more convenient and environmentally friendly than driving or flying. ” according to the Biden administration. The funding will help create more than 100,000 construction jobs.
The Northeast Corridor runs from Boston to Washington and carries about 800,000 passengers daily in a region that represents 20% of the United States’ GDP. These trains carry five times more passengers than all flights between Washington and New York combined. Despite this, much of its infrastructure is neglected because the corridor has not been subject to major investments for generations. Many of the existing bridges and tunnels were built in the early 20th century, with some investments dating back to the 1830s.
Among the new funds announced by Biden, the largest amount, $4.7 billion, is earmarked for the Frederick Douglass (MD) Tunnel, which will replace the 150-year-old Baltimore and Potomac Tunnel, with its tight curves and steep inclines requiring trains. Reduce speed to 30 miles per hour (48 km/h). It is the largest bottleneck on the route between Washington and New Jersey, causing delays to more than 10% of trains daily. The new tunnel will allow speeds of up to 110 miles per hour (177 kilometers per hour). Biden already visited the tunnel in January to announce the signing of the project initiation agreement, and now construction has been underway since March to inject this funding.
Another 3.8 billion will be used to rebuild and expand the Hudson River Tunnel between New York and New Jersey, which is more than 100 years old, serves 200,000 passengers daily and was damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Combined with other investments, the Biden administration’s total commitment to the tunnel project will reach $11 billion. The Hudson Tunnel Project is an essential component of the Gateway Project, a vast rail investment program to improve passenger and intercity services. According to the White House, solving this critical bottleneck is critical to the Northeast regional economy.
The package announced by Biden includes another $2.1 billion to replace a 100-year-old railroad bridge over the Susquehanna River (in Maryland) with two new two-lane spans that will increase speeds from 90 to 125 miles per hour and improve travel reliability. Duration. About 19,000 passengers travel over the existing bridge every week, which is also used for freight traffic. In addition, the existing movable bridge will be replaced with elevated fixed bridges, which will improve navigation for boats on the Susquehanna River.
$1.6 billion has been earmarked to repair and rehabilitate 19 miles of the Amtrak-owned Hell Gate Line, including tracks, bridges and signals. The project would introduce Metro-North service to Penn Station, increase Amtrak service and reduce local transit travel times from the Bronx to Manhattan. Another $827 million is to replace the 116-year-old bridge over the Connecticut River of the same name with a new drawbridge. Its construction will begin in 2024.
Not much speed
Despite the busy nature of the Northeast Corridor, an expressway does not exist or is planned. The high-speed Acela trains connecting Washington and New York can only reach speed in a small section, covering a distance of about 364 kilometers in at least 2 hours 45 minutes, including intermediate stops. The new plans provided for 150 miles (240 kilometers) per hour will improve the duration of journeys, not only because of the increased speed sections, but also because of the reduction of delays associated with constant maintenance and repair of old infrastructure.
The package announced by Biden includes a planning study to examine opportunities to increase speed and reduce travel time between Washington and New York. Another will study future infrastructure options to improve speed, endurance, efficiency and capacity for high-speed trains traveling through Connecticut and Rhode Island.
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