Amtrak's Northeast Corridor:

Information on the Status and Cost of Needed Improvements

RCED-95-151BR: Published: Apr 13, 1995. Publicly Released: Apr 13, 1995.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on Amtrak's Northeast Corridor, focusing on: (1) the ownership and usage of the corridor; (2) improvements to facilitate high-speed operations in the north end of the corridor; and (3) capital investment needs in the south end of the corridor.

GAO found that: (1) Amtrak owns about 85 percent of the Northeast Corridor and three state commuter rail authorities own the remaining portion of the corridor; (2) seven commuter railroads operate about 91 percent of the passenger trains that use the corridor annually; (3) although Amtrak is a relatively small user of the corridor it is the only carrier that uses the corridor in its entirety; (4) Amtrak plans to invest about $1.6 billion in the corridor by 1999, including $360 million for track electification, $600 million to purchase and maintain high-speed trainsets, and $640 million to install high speed components on the right-of-way; (5) Amtrak will need to invest another $1.6 billion in the corridor after 1999 to minimize the impact of new high speed service on commercial and freight railroads; (6) Amtrak needs about $2.5 billion to replace aging components on the south end of the corridor; and (7) Amtrak has allocated $115 million of its $200 million Northeast Corridor Improvement Project appropriation for fiscal year 1995 to meet its capital investment needs.

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