Amtrak - News, updates, upgrades, etc

Another black mark for Adams. All garages were supposed to have had thorough inspections after what happened on Fulton St.


On Thursday some trains will resume running.


Another update:


NC By Train has served a total of 449,898 passengers during the first three quarters of 2023, which is 23% higher than the total of 366,685 passengers for the same time during 2022, which was the previous record year for the state’s intercity passenger rail service. On its own, the third quarter of 2023, NC By Train served 163,623 customers making it the best quarter in its 33-year history.

In my mind, this is making a great case for vigorously pursuing and hopefully even fast-tracking all of the currently-underway projects that will connect the Piedmond Atlantic Megaregion to the Northeast Corridor.

  • DC → Richmond : Virginia now owns the right-of-way, next is Long Bridge expansion which is fully (or mostly) funded. Projected completion by ~2030.
  • Richmond → Raleigh : NC and VA have worked out a deal to purchase the S-Line from CSX. Now funding inital engineering work. As of last year, NCDOT was projecting service on this route to start sometime between 2025 and 2029. This new route will cut down the current ~4-hour journey from Raleigh to Richmond to just over 2 hours.
  • Raleigh → Charlotte : Complete, AFAIK. Raleigh built a new downtown train station in 2018, and Charlotte is currently building a new station downtown (current one is about a mile outside of downtown).
  • Charlotte → Atlanta : Tier I EIS completed. Route chosen. Awaiting federal funding. Will take the longest.

That’s quite a bit of $.

It is, but let’s not forget the interstate highway system costs roughly a third of that number per year just in maintenance. To be fair, different sources will cite different dollar amounts. But it’s easily tens of billions annually, and that’s not even counting state and local roads.

I’m not trying to sound combative btw. I’ve just noticed people tend to react quickly to the eye-watering price tag of transit projects, but then conveniently forget how much public money is spent on car infrastructure annually.


another thing that’s often overlooked is that much of the money goes to workers and businesses, ultimately re-entering the economy in some form or another.

is there widespread corruption, and obscene amounts of money further lining the pockets of the already wealthy? undoubtedly, and it’s always worth scrutiny, but people tend to assume the $ is burned up and somehow eliminated, which just isn’t the case.

a significant chunk of that money goes toward paying people to construct these projects. wages for a team of 1000 workers can easily reach into the deep nine figures for only one year of work, and that’s just direct labor, not even counting materials or anything else! that’s 1000 families regularly injecting money back into their communities for an entire year.

will these crazy price tags help some fatcat finance a new private jet? probably. but it will also go toward tens of thousands of daily lunches, new shoes for kids, used cars, vacations, income taxes (!), cigarettes, concert tickets, gasoline… it goes on.

i always laugh when people balk at the cost of space exploration projects, as if we loaded up a bunch of cash onto a rocket and removed it from the earth!


I’m not balking. I’m just saying it’s a lot of $.


no i gotchu, stache - my comment wasn’t directed at you, i was just speaking in general.

i agree with you, $176b is a lot of money. if they could somehow reduce costs by even 1%, they’d be saving $1,760,000,000… that’s a lotta guacamole


Press release says that second daily Chicago-Saint Paul train as well as relaunch of services on the New Orleans-Mobile sector (suspended since Katrina) are expected to begin next year. Press release also mentions “return of intercity passenger rail service between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, LA in the next several years, assuming available funding” - that sector hasn’t seen passenger rail since 1969, which is before Amtrak was founded.

Ridership data:

Only some regional services in Illinois, California and Michigan, along with a few long-distance trains, saw year-over-year ridership declines.


I totally agree and I wasn’t trying to “aim” my comment at you. I was just responding in the broader context of the conversation.


Lots of funding announcements for US passenger rail in the past few days.

My personal highlight as a Raleighite: the S-Line corridor (Richmond → Raleigh) will receive $1 Billion, and the NCDOT and Amtrak have committed to funding an additional $200M. Once built out to the current plan, the S-Line will run trains at 110 mph and reduce the trip time from Raleigh → Richmond by nearly 2 hours, and increase daily trains from Charlotte → DC from 1/day to 5/day.

The longer-term pie-in-the-sky plan is to eventually eliminate all at-grade crossings on the route so the FRA will allow for 125mph speeds. Also, as I understand it, all the new infrastructure on the route is being built to be compatible with future electrification. We eventually could see honest-to-goodness HSR from Atlanta to Richmond or even all the way up to DC if they can ever get Ashland on board.


It’s about $2500 per person living in the northeast, for an investment that will last for decades. So maybe $80 per person per year over the next 30 years.

That’s money well spent because it will help people travel more effectively and quickly, ease road congestion, make all of the above safer, help corporations because of travel to and from locations where they operate, employ workers, and improve quality of life for millions of Americans.