Amtrak Tracking for My Commute Between New York City and Philadelphia

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Rail stimulus funds to bypass Northeast

The Boston Globe in reporting that the NEC has been virtually shut out of $8 billion worth of federal stimulus money set aside for high-speed rail projects because of a strict environmental review required by the Obama administration. Because such a review would take years, states along the Northeast rail corridor are not able to pursue stimulus money for a variety of crucial upgrades.

This is lame but I think the NEC will still get federal stimulus funds for normal track maintenance and upgrades over the coming years. The upgrades may not boost Acela speed but they'll help the regional traffic along the NEC. So this means more trains per hour and fewer delays and perhaps faster times with gains on the order of 5 - 10 minutes as opposed to 30 minutes or more that a real high speed train would see.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

NJ Transit awards contract to replace major commuter bottleneck

NJ Transit awarded $87.7 million worth of contracts this week to advanced replacement of the Portal Bridge (Portal Bridge page on Wikipedia). The two-track bridge, which carries Amtrak's Northeast Corridor tracks into New York Penn Station, will be replaced with a stationary $1.7 billion five-track structure that will serve the existing tunnels beneath the Hudson as well as the new planned tunnel under the Hudson. The new bridge will be high enough to allow Hackensack River ship traffic to pass underneath – ending the routine disruptions to train service. It is scheduled to be completed by 2017, in concert with the new Hudson tunnel. Amtrak's trains carry 30,000 passengers per work day over the bridge.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Amtrak has record Thanksgiving

The Times Union states that systemwide Amtrak stated it carried ~686,000 passengers from Nov. 24 to 30, including 127,557 on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. This beat the old record of systemwide 666,716 riders in 2007.