Friday, January 13, 2012

Amtrak president recaps FY12 plans

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Covering little if any new ground for regular rail industry observers, Amtrak President Joseph Boardman on Jan. 12 highlighted the company’s plan to begin acquiring 70 electric locomotives and 130 single-level long-distance cars as part of Amtrak’s long-range plan to rehabilitate its rolling stock.
Boardman also recapped Amtrak’s plan, announced much more recently, to extend electronic ticketing to all trains this year to improve yield management and seat utilization. 

Boardman also drew attention to Amtrak’s commencement of advanced design and engineering this year for constant-tension catenary work, and other track improvements, on 24 miles of the Northeast Corridor between New Brunswick, N.J., and Morrisville, Pa., just across the Delaware River from Trenton, N.J. The improvements would bolster top NEC speeds from 135 mph to 160 mph and allow more efficient movement of other passenger train traffic as well, including Amtrak long-distance and Northeast Regional trains as well as New Jersey Transit consists.

Amtrak’s President, during a conference call with reporters Wednesday, said, “I see us as having a great future because we carry more and more people, our revenues are up and we’re going to be able to be more efficient.” 

Amtrak’s fiscal year 2012 budget also includes $15 million toward building a second tunnel under the Hudson River to increase passenger train capacity to and from New York’s Penn Station.