Congress to explore the future of Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor

May 31, 2013

(NIKKI KAHN – THE WASHINGTON POST)

You will have to travel to Manhattan to be on hand for this congressional hearing. And if  you take Amtrak, you may be able to provide some useful insight.

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will hold a field hearing next week on the future of the Northeast Corridor — what some say is Amtrak’s most valuable route.

Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), chairman of the committee, will join members of the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials chaired by Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) to examine the potential for improvements on the corridor as well as possible opportunities for future infrastructure development. Information gathered during the Jun. 7 hearing likely will be used by the committee as it develops passenger rail reauthorization legislation during this congressional session.

Denham held a hearing last month on the Hill that also examined Amtrak’s operations.

May was a big month for the rail system, which announced it had purchased 70 new locomotives for use on the Northeast Corridor. The new trains are expected to be in place by the end of the year. Amtrak’s President and CEO Joseph Boardman also received a two-year renewable contract. But while the rail agency has been reporting record ridership, some members of Congress are still critical of its operations. We’ll see if that sentiment surfaces at the upcoming hearing.

“The Importance of the Northeast Corridor”  hearing is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. on Jun. 7 in Room 4500 of Moynihan Station, 380 W. 33rd St, New York, N.Y.

Witnesses invited to testify include Boardman, Amtrak’s president and CEO;  Bob Yaro, executive director, Regional Plan Association; Joan McDonald, commissioner, New York Department of Transportation; and Marilyn Taylor, dean, School of Architecture, University of Pennsylvania School of Design.

More information about the hearing, including testimony and additional background information, will be posted here as it becomes available.

 

 

 

Lori Aratani writes about how people live, work and play in the D.C. region for The Post’s Transportation and Development team.
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