The Southern California Regional Rail Authority (Metrolink) has renewed its contract with Amtrak for regional/commuter rail operations services, beginning Jan. 1, 2021 and expiring June 30, 2025. Amtrak will also provide and manage engineers and conductors.
Amtrak Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating and Commercial Officer Stephen Gardner has been appointed President, effective Dec. 1, 2020, succeeding Bill Flynn, who will remain as CEO and continue to serve on the company’s board of directors. Gardner’s appointment, Amtrak said, “is part of a broader set of actions taken under Flynn’s leadership, working with the Board of Directors, to ensure that Amtrak is well-positioned for success in fiscal year 2021 and beyond.”
Amtrak reported today preliminary results for fiscal year 2020 (October 2019-September 2020), including an operating loss of $801.1 million due to the pandemic. Operating revenues were $2.3 billion, a decrease of 31.9% over FY 2019. It also reported advancing $1.9 billion in infrastructure and fleet work.
It has been an honor to serve on the Amtrak Board for the past decade. I am extremely proud of the hardworking employees at Amtrak who keep America moving. Our current circumstances remind us of just how fortunate we are to have their commitment and dedication. It is because of their efforts that Amtrak began 2020 in the strongest position since we were created nearly 50 years ago. Ridership, revenue and financial performance were at record levels. With the support of our state partners, Amtrak was on track to generate revenues exceeding operating expenses for the first time ever. The company began preparing for next-generation Acela trains, and had a bold vision of expanding train service in new and existing corridors across the country.
Amtrak is in talks with the state of Vermont, the town of Brattleboro and host-railroad New England Central Railroad (a Genesee & Wyoming subsidiary) to build a new station in Brattleboro.
“Examining the Surface Transportation Board’s Role in Ensuring a Robust Passenger Rail System” was the topic of a virtual Nov. 18 hearing before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials.
Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), in conjunction with Amtrak and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), will upgrade the signaling and train control system between Paoli and Overbrook, along the Harrisburg, Pa., (Keystone) Line, an extension of the Northeast Corridor.
After nearly 10 years of a contentious battle involving Amtrak and its host freight railroads that twice reached the U.S. Supreme Court, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has published a final rule establishing metrics and minimum standards for measuring the performance and service quality of Amtrak’s intercity passenger trains.
California’s North County Transit District (NCTD) has announced the release of the San Diego Pathing Study, outlining how to phase expansion of passenger and freight rail services along the 351-mile Los Angeles – San Diego – San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) rail corridor. The corridor is the second busiest in the nation, moving about $1 billion in freight and more than 8 million Amtrak and regional/commuter rail (NCTD COASTER and Metrolink) riders in a typical year.
With Joe Biden preparing to take the oath of office as the 46th president of the United States on Jan. 20, 2021, the Association of American Railroads (AAR), the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA), Amtrak, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), and the Railway Supply Institute (RSI) are “ready to work” with him, his Administration and Congress—and help the industry, and the country, recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.