220 mph train? 3 big changes imagined by Amtrak

January 19, 2016

By Mike Davis, Asbury Park Press

NEWARK – The nation’s most-traveled rail corridor could get a boost from high-speed trains and a robust network of stations, according to a lofty plan under review by the federal government.Website Insert Our Name Tells Our Story copy

Amtrak’s 476-mile Northeast Corridor rail network is already in need of an upgrade, with about 750,000 passengers using the line each day, at or above capacity in certain areas. By 2040, the Federal Railroad Administration anticipates trains running over capacity by about 6,000 passengers per hour.

Enter the administration’s “NEC Future program.” At best, it’s a decades-long list of improvements. At worst, it’s a wish list of pipe dreams from imaginative transit gurus.

The FRA lists three “alternatives” to its current plan, each of which is more ambitious than the last. The administration is hosting a public hearing on the NEC Future program at the NJ Transit building in Newark. Riders can state their comments for the record from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., and officials will make two presentations at 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. Written public comments can be submitted to comment@necfuture.com until Jan. 30.

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