The US Department of Transportation has announced that the Northeast Corridor has won $795M in HSR grants. Despite the region’s success, Amtrak was awarded only $450M and received no assistance to begin the trans-Hudson Gateway project.
Amtrak’s has received the biggest share of the NEC’s funding: $450M for the design and construction of a 24-mile segment of track that can support 160mph operations between NYC and Philadelphia. Amtrak’s other major request, $570M to support the re-construction of the century-old Portal Bridge project, which is essential to relieving the trans-Hudson bottleneck, went unfunded. The Feds also chose to deny funding for design and preliminary engineering for the Gateway Project.
Within the Gateway region, New York State’s Harold Interlocking replacement project received $295M. This project will indirectly benefit trans-Hudson rail capacity, by removing the bottleneck that current exists in Queens, as Amtrak and LIRR trains move toward the East River Tunnels.
Outside of the Northeast, midwestern states won $404M and California won $300M, in addition to a number of smaller grants (less than $15M) to several states in the west and in the south. Later today, Secretary Ray LaHood will make a live announcement of the grants at NY Penn Station and at Detroit’s Amtrak station.