WASHINGTON— Amtrak is ready for an exciting 2010 with major projects and new initiatives that will benefit passengers, increase service, rebuild infrastructure, and put America’s railroad at the center of intercity and high-speed passenger rail development and expansion.
“Amtrak enters 2010 with a strong sense of optimism, enthusiasm and purpose,” said President and CEO Joseph Boardman. “We have an aggressive game plan to modernize, renew, and grow America’s passenger railroad,” he said, noting increasing ridership from 21.6 million in FY 2002 to 27.2 million in FY 2009, with an all-time record of 28.7 million in FY 2008.
He explained that numerous projects and initiatives being undertaken in 2010 support goals established in Amtrak’s new Strategic Guidance including becoming safer, greener and healthier and improving financial performance, customer service, and meeting national needs.
In particular, Amtrak is playing a major role in the development and expansion of intercity and high-speed passenger rail. As America’s provider of intercity passenger rail service and its only high-speed rail operator—operating trains at speeds up to 150 mph every day— Amtrak has unmatched knowledge, experience and expertise in the U.S. rail environment.
Boardman added that Amtrak is partnering with 25 states in support of more than 100 projects submitted for funding from the $8 billion made available by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for intercity and high-speed rail capital improvement grants. An announcement from the U.S. Department of Transportation on which projects have been selected is expected this winter.
During 2010, Amtrak also will undertake track and bridge construction projects, safety and security enhancements, and will release a plan to replace and expand its locomotive and passenger railcar fleet, among many other projects and initiatives.