by Josephine Cordero Sapién
11 Mar 2021
As a result of increased demand and with the help of Congressional funding, Amtrak is restoring 12 long-distance routes to daily service, after schedules were cut in response to the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.
Amtrak has been granted COVID relief funding, allowing the US operator to sustain and restore services and recall more than 1,200 employees who have been on furlough. This funding is pending President Biden’s signature on the final bill.
“Offering daily long distance service represents a vital step in our road to recovery. Recognizing the immense value of our employees, we'd like to thank Congress for enabling service restoration and helping us recall furloughed employees.”
Amtrak will start reintroducing daily schedules in May. Daily services will commence for the California Zephyr, the Coast Starlight, the Empire Builder and the Texas Eagle on 24 May, for the Capitol Limited, the City of New Orleans, the Lake Shore Limited and the Southwest Chief on 31 May, and for the Crescent, the Palmetto, the Silver Meteor and the Silver Star on 7 June.
Amtrak is implementing wider measures to invest in its long-distance services. Other elements include:
The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is set to begin construction on four new Red Line stations at Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn and Bryn Mawr.
Minnesota legislature has approved 195 million USD in funding for the Northern Light Express (NLX) passenger rail project.
Washington Metro has presented the latest design concepts for its future fleet of trains that will be produced by Hitachi Rail.
The penultimate train has arrived in Hawaii prior to the Honolulu Rail System commencing passenger service on 30 June this year.
The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has selected three prequalified teams to submit proposals for its Red Line Extension (RLE) project.
Brightline has become the first passenger rail service to offer Starlink’s high-speed, low-latency broadband service on its trains.
The FRA has announced the availability of 5.8 million USD in funding for the Interstate Rail Compacts (IRC) Program.
Amtrak has announced plans to renovate its maintenance facilities in Seattle, Boston, New York City and Washington, DC.
The FTA has awarded 703 million USD in funding to six projects in six states to replace aging passenger railcars.
Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) has unveiled a Rail Inspection Vehicle (RIV) manufactured by MERMEC to identify issues along the track.
Early construction activities are now underway on Amtrak's B&P Tunnel Replacement Program, which commenced in March 2023.
Canadian National (CN), Union Pacific (UP) and GMXT have established Falcon Premium, an intermodal service between Mexico, the US and Canada.
LA SkyRail Express (LASRE) has partnered with Keolis to deliver a high-capacity SkyRail system between the San Fernando Valley and Westside.
The FRA has concluded a series of meetings with stakeholders on its Amtrak Daily Long-Distance Service study.
Schneider National has signed an agreement with Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) to provide an intermodal service on CPKC’s corridor.
Brightline has unveiled its new station at Orlando International Airport (MCO) and has announced that tickets for the service will go on sale in May.
The Greater Cleveland RTA has selected Siemens Mobility as the preferred vendor to replace its ageing rolling stock.
Canadian Pacific (CP) and Kansas City Southern (KCS) have officially combined to create Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC).
Amtrak has commenced the procurement phase for the construction of the New York East River Tunnel Rehabilitation project.
Siemens Mobility has announced that Brightline will implement Sqills' S3 inventory and reservation system to support its Orlando expansion.
PANYNJ has announced that the first of 72 new rail cars will enter service next week as part of its PATH Improvement Plan.
Alstom has been awarded a contract to provide operations and maintenance services for the Maryland Area Rail Commuter network.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's Yellow Line will reopen on 7 May following key rehabilitation work.
Union Pacific has begun the process of transferring its three commuter rail service lines in Chicago to Metra.
Brightline has showcased its train maintenance facility in Orlando ahead of the site commencing full service later this year.
Amtrak and PNRRA have released findings from a two-year study examining the potential to operate rail services between Scranton and New York.
PANYNJ and Newark Liberty International Airport have contracted Alstom to provide operations and maintenance services for AirTrain Newark.
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) has added the 100th new four-series light rail vehicle (LRV4) to its fleet.
The US Surface Transportation Board (STB) has provided approval for the merger of Canadian Pacific (CP) and Kansas City Southern (KCS).
Amtrak has announced plans to double capacity at its second-largest station, Washington Union Station, by 2026.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has commenced the rollout of its new R211 subway cars on New York's A line.
Amtrak and the Southern Rail Commission are applying for funding to study a new rail service between New York City, Georgia and Texas.
On 10 March, Amtrak is set to begin early construction work as part of the B&P Tunnel Replacement Program in Maryland.
Siemens Mobility is investing 220 million USD to construct an advanced manufacturing and rail services facility in Lexington, North Carolina.
Brightline has set a new record for operating the fastest train in Florida after reaching speeds of 130 miles per hour.
New York's MTA has contracted Thales and TC Electric to supply CBTC signalling on the metro line between Brooklyn and Queens.
Brightline has received approval from The United States Coast Guard to rehabilitate the railroad bridge over the St. Lucie River in Stuart.
The US stands to benefit immensely from improved high-speed rail connections, as discussed in CoMotion's latest webinar.
Siemens Mobility has delivered the 'Bright Orange 2' trainset to Orlando, completing Brightline's fleet of 10 trains.
Three wildlife overcrossings are going to be built over the Brightline West high-speed rail system, providing a safe path for wildlife.
Stadler is partnering with Utah State University and ASPIRE Engineering to develop the first battery-powered passenger train in the US.
New York's MTA has unveiled one of the two R211 open gangway subway trains that are undergoing testing at its Coney Island Yard in Brooklyn.
California Governor Newsom has announced more than 2.5 billion USD in funding for 16 ongoing projects to improve passenger rail services.
Amtrak was joined by President Biden, the US DoT and Maryland officials to execute the Project Kickoff for the B&P Tunnel Replacement.
Brightline is testing trains at 110 miles per hour in northern Palm Beach County from Saturday 11 February.
Los Angeles Metro has released a Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the C Line (Green) extension in LA, California.
The inaugural Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) train arrived into Grand Central Madison, Manhattan, on 25 January.
Amtrak has received submissions from 10 manufacturers regarding replacement railcars for its overnight routes.
Governor Kathy Hochul has announced that New York's Interborough Express service will be constructed as a light rail line.
Brightline has released a video and renderings of the future station at Orlando International Airport in Florida.
Orlando's Right Rail and Universal Orlando Resort have announced plans to open a new SunRail station at the Orange County Convention Center.
The US DOT has announced nearly 9 billion USD in funding to upgrade and expand passenger rail services along the Northeast Corridor (NEC).
Alstom has completed the extension of the PHX Sky Train automated people mover (APM) system at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
Brightline has celebrated the ribbon cutting of its Aventura and Boca Raton train stations in Florida, US.
Houston METRO has debuted the first of 14 new fourth generation (H4) light rail vehicles (LRV) for use in downtown Houston, Texas.
Amtrak has unveiled renders of its newest train, the Amtrak Airo. The new trains will begin operating across Amtrak routes in 2026.
DB Engineering & Consulting (ECO) is providing technical modelling support for the Link21 rail infrastructure project in San Francisco Bay.
Groundbreaking for the Metro-North Penn Station Access project was celebrated at a special ceremony on 9 December.
New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has unveiled the new Clifton Car Maintenance Shop for Staten Island Railway.
The US Department of Transportation has announced the availability of 2.3 billion USD in funding for intercity passenger rail projects.
Los Angeles Metro has approved route for the Eastside Transit Corridor Phase 2 Project, which will extend the Metro L (Gold) light rail line.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has applied to the US Federal Railroad Administration for $108m of funding.
Advanced utility work has begun on the first segment of the East San Fernando Valley light rail project in Los Angeles County.
Norfolk Southern Railway Company (NSRC) will purchase all of the Cincinnati Southern Railway’s (CSR) assets for 1.62 billion USD.
Amtrak is advancing a major infrastructure project to replace the 116-year-old Susquehanna River Rail Bridge in Havre de Grace Maryland.
The South Florida Regional Transportation Authority will begin training and testing of Tri-Rail services at MiamiCentral Station.
The FRA has published a list of priority projects to advance the development of the Northeast Corridor (NEC).
WMATA has celebrated the opening of the Silver Line Extension, which has added six new stations and 11.4 miles of Metrorail track.
California High-Speed Rail Authority has selected AECOM's JV for programme management support on the California High-Speed Rail project.
Metrolink's Burbank Junction Speed Improvement Project has commenced at Burbank-Downtown Station in California.
AECOM's SJTP will provide engineering and project management services with STV Incorporated for the GCL Light Rail project in New Jersey.
Pennsylvania is investing 3.7 million USD to enable Amtrak passenger rail services to run between Scranton and New York City.
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) has announced that the Central Subway will open in San Francisco on 19 November.
Kansas City Southern has celebrated the ground breaking of its new International Railroad Bridge spanning the Rio Grande river.
The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is seeking qualified companies to design and build its 5.6-mile Red Line extension project.
Amtrak has announced that in early 2023, it will enter the procurement phase for the construction of a new Connecticut River Bridge.
The California High-Speed Rail Authority has said it would let the current track and systems procurement expire in order to restructure it.
The CHSRA's Board of Directors awarded the design and support services contract for the 4 Central Valley stations on the high-speed line.
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's (WMTA) Silver Line extension to Dulles Airport will be operationally ready for Thanksgiving.
Metra has awarded a 14.5 million USD contract to IHC Construction to renovate Homewood Station in Chicago.
SBCTA and Metrolink are hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Arrow service, which is scheduled to commence on Monday 24 October.
Hitachi Rail has unveiled the final designs for its new Washington County, Maryland train factory and 800-yard test track.
The Valley Link Rail project is purchasing 200 acres that will be the site of its green hydrogen production facility.
Brightline and contractor Lemartec have topped off Aventura station in Florida with the placement of a 131-foot-long pedestrian skybridge.
US railway operator Metra has unveiled the latest addition to its locomotive fleet; a remanufactured EMD SD70MAC.
The California High-Speed Rail Authority has applied for 67 million in federal funding to advance construction of the Bakersfield extension.
Union Pacific Railroad is partnering with ZTR to build hybrid-electric locomotives, with the first prototype expected to be delivered in 2023.
Rancho Cucamonga City Council and the SBTCA have approved the sale of a five-acre portion of Cucamonga Station to Brightline West.
Work on Long Island Rail Road’s (LIRR) 9.8 mile third track project has been completed on time and below budget.
Brightline is set to begin testing trains at speeds of up to 110 miles-per-hour in Martin and St. Lucie Counties from 17 October.
The MBTA has announced that work will begin on the Codman Yard Expansion and Improvement project next month.
BNSF Railway has announced plans to construct an integrated rail complex in Barstow, southern California - the first by a Class 1 railroad.
Amtrak has announced a pledge to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across its entire network by 2045.
Progress Rail has been chosen to supply BNSF Railway with four EMD Joule battery electric locomotives and two charging systems.
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro) has announced that the K Line will open on 7 October 2022.
Caltrain has unveiled its new electric train cars – a key component of its electrification project. These will enter service in 2024.
Stadler has signed a MoU to design and deliver four zero emission hydrogen FLIRT trains for operation in California.
Stadler has unveiled its FLIRT H2 hydrogen train, which will be delivered to the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority in 2023.
The Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) has taken delivery of two new rail cars from Kawasaki as part of its improvement plan,
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