USA: The Federal Railroad Administration has launched a Corridor Identification & Development programme to identify routes where inter-city passenger rail services could be introduced or expanded.
This aims to facilitate the rapid creation of a pipeline of schemes that are ready for funding, allowing them to be implemented much faster than in the past. The initiative is being taken forward on the back of the passing of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which included $1·8bn in funding to support the development of more Amtrak routes.
Corridor ID will give public entities a formal mechanism through which they can work with FRA to develop proposals that will expand, enhance, or restore passenger rail services. Within a year, FRA will start submitting an annual report to Congress on the programme and its project pipeline.
FRA says it will be seeking formal proposals for the programme within this calendar year, with routes to be selected based on project readiness and ‘statutory criteria’.
For each selected proposal, FRA will work with the entity that submitted the proposal, the relevant states and Amtrak to prepare or update a service development plan.
‘Americans deserve what people in many other countries currently benefit from: a world class rail system that allows you to get where you need to go quickly and affordably, while reducing traffic and pollution on our roads’, said Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
‘In launching the programme, we are taking a major step to transform America’s passenger rail network and connect our smallest towns and our biggest cities with great train service.’
‘The Corridor ID Programme will help expand inter-city passenger service beyond the Northeast Corridor’, added FRA Administrator Amit Bose. ‘This is just one of many ways the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is bringing about the next great rail revolution.’