USA: The Department of Transportation is making available nearly $9bn in funding to support infrastructure renewals and expand passenger services along Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor linking Washington DC to Boston via Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York.

The route is the busiest main line in the USA, carrying more than 200 million passengers a year. The federal funding announced on December 21 is intended to improve reliability and punctuality, as well as increasing capacity.

The Federal Railroad Administration published its list of priority projects for the corridor in November. Major projects expected to be progressed with the additional funding include the boring of a replacement for the historic Baltimore & Potomac Tunnel in Maryland, replacement of the Walk Bridge in Connecticut, and the Gateway Programme to duplicate the trans-Hudson tunnels between New Jersey and New York.

The additional funding is to be disbursed through the Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail Grant Program, which will increase to a total of $36bn over the next five years.

‘Today’s investments are a major step towards reversing a half-century of underinvestment in vital rail infrastructure and will result in fewer delays for millions of riders and travellers,’ said FRA Administrator Amit Bose. ‘The expanded Partnership Program funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will ensure that the Northeast Corridor thrives as the region’s economic and transportation backbone, while making its services more reliable, available, and accessible to even more people.’