Northeast Rail Corridor:

Information on Users, Funding Sources, and Expenditures

RCED-96-144: Published: Jun 27, 1996. Publicly Released: Jun 27, 1996.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the use of the Northeast Corridor by Amtrak and other commuter and freight railroads, focusing on: (1) sources of funding for the corridor's expenditures; and (2) annual funding required to operate and maintain the corridor's infrastructure.

GAO noted that: (1) the Northeast Corridor is used daily by 100 Amtrak trains, 1,100 commuter trains, and a few freight trains; (2) about 91 percent of the trains using the corridor are commuter trains; (3) Amtrak and commuter and freight railroads provide the bulk of the funding needed for operating and maintaining the corridor; (4) from 1988 through 1993, commuter railroads provided an average of $105.3 million in revenues and operating subsidies for the corridor's operation and maintenance expenditures and Amtrak funded approximately 42 percent of the corridor's average annual capital expenditures; (5) Amtrak and other users spent an average of $497 million annually on the corridor's operation, maintenance, and capital improvements; (6) an additional $2.7 billion will be needed over the next 15 years to upgrade the corridor's infrastructure; (7) Amtrak and non-Amtrak funding varies widely on various segments of the corridor; and (8) Amtrak needs to improve the quality of its service to protect its revenue.

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