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Northeast Corridor

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NEWS
May 9, 2008 | By Richard Stowe
Home to 56.3 million people, the nation's capital, and powerful financial, media and academic institutions, the Northeast region produces 20 percent of America's GDP and 27 million jobs, but is only 2 percent of the nation's landmass. The mega-sprawlopolis is most clearly defined by the intensity of its sky glow at night, light pollution symbolic of the profligate energy consumed by short-haul flights and millions of automobiles. Amtrak owns and operates the Northeast Corridor from Washington to Boston.
NEWS
January 29, 1988 | By JOE CLARK, Daily News Staff Writer
The Northeast Corridor, 456 miles of track between Washington and Boston, is the most heavily traveled section of rail in the country, carrying more than half of Amtrak's passengers. It's also the deadliest. On Jan. 4, 1987, a northbound Amtrak passenger train blasted into a Conrail train, killing 16 and injuring 175. Last week, the National Transportation Safety Board concluded after a year- long investigation that the collision was caused by the "impairment from marijuana" of the engineer and brakeman of a Conrail locomotive that went through three warning signals before pulling into the path of the Amtrak train.
BUSINESS
April 20, 2013 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
Amtrak faces a "crisis of success," unable to keep up with the growing demand for service on the Northeast Corridor, Amtrak president Joseph Boardman says. "We've used up the legacy capacity of the existing railroad while further depleting its infrastructure assets, leading us to a major coming investment crisis that, without a solution, will mean strangled growth and deteriorating service," Boardman told a Senate committee Wednesday. Amtrak, setting ridership records every year, needs about $2 billion annually for upkeep and growth on the corridor, far more than the $260 million a year it has been spending, Boardman said in calling for a long-term federal plan for funding the railroad.
NEWS
September 28, 2010 | By Paul Nussbaum, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Amtrak officials today unveiled a vision for true high-speed service along the Northeast Corridor, with trains that could travel between Philadelphia and New York in 38 minutes. The proposed new high-speed service between Washington and Boston, with trains that could travel at 220 miles per hour, would require its own dedicated tracks and a new route north of New York away from the congested seacoast, said Amtrak president Joseph Boardman. The proposed high-speed system would cost about $117 billion and take up to 30 years to complete, according to Amtrak's proposal.
NEWS
December 22, 2015 | By Jason Laughlin, Staff Writer
A key train safety system is now active on Amtrak rails from Washington to New York. And SEPTA's Regional Rail system is not far behind in activating its own version of the technology, officials have said. Amtrak activated Positive Train Control, which can automatically slow or stop a speeding train, between Philadelphia and New York this past weekend. The system went online from Philadelphia to Washington a week ago, spokeswoman Christina Leeds said Sunday night. The system was already operational on Amtrak rails from New Haven, Conn., to Boston, she said.
NEWS
June 24, 2001 | By Donald D. Groff FOR THE INQUIRER
Amtrak customers who hate listening to obnoxious passengers booming into their cell phones can take heart - the railroad has expanded its "quiet car" program under which one car on Northeast Corridor trains is designated as a no-cell-phone car. The railroad announced this month that on weekdays the policy has been extended to all but three trains. The quiet cars usually will be the first coach car behind the locomotive. On weekends, no quiet cars are available. Amtrak first tried the concept in January 2000.
NEWS
July 10, 2012 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
Amtrak's updated plan for high-speed train travel on the East Coast envisions 37-minute trips between Philadelphia and New York, after a $151 billion redevelopment of the entire Northeast Corridor. Faster service would be phased in gradually, as Amtrak improves existing tracks, signals, bridges, and power lines and then builds a separate high-speed corridor between Washington and Boston to accommodate trains traveling at 220 m.p.h. In a report released Monday, Amtrak revised its projections for costs, ridership, and the alignment of its proposed new 438-mile high-speed corridor.
BUSINESS
November 8, 2014 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
Federal planners have refined their choices for the future of the Northeast Corridor's passenger rail service, but have not attached cost estimates to any of the alternatives, from minimal service improvements to an entirely new high-speed corridor between Washington and Boston. The "NEC Future" planners will be in Philadelphia this month to discuss the plans and the process with the public. The four broad alternatives outlined by the Federal Railroad Administration this week were the latest steps in planning for upgrading the corridor over the next 25 years.
BUSINESS
September 13, 2014 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
House leaders in Washington on Thursday introduced legislation to allow Amtrak to reinvest Northeast Corridor profits on improvements to the corridor, rather than to use that money to subsidize money-losing, long-distance routes in other parts of the country. The bill proposes many changes in how the national railroad is funded and how it operates. It was sponsored by top Republican and Democratic members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, giving it instant bipartisan support.
BUSINESS
March 20, 2014 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
Amtrak wants to use operating profits from the Northeast Corridor for major construction projects on the corridor, instead of subsidizing long-distance trains elsewhere in the nation. Revenues from passenger operations on the 453-mile corridor between Washington and Boston will exceed operating costs by about $290 million next year, Amtrak president Joseph Boardman said in a letter Tuesday to congressional leaders. Boardman asked that Amtrak be allowed to use that operating surplus to help pay for $735 million in capital costs on the corridor, including new railcars, station improvements, and rail and signal upgrades.
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NEWS
January 27, 2016 | By Jason Laughlin, STAFF WRITER
The public will get an additional two weeks to comment on the long-term plans for the Northeast rail corridor that propose major changes for the route's path through Philadelphia. The comment period for the draft environmental impact statement was extended from Jan. 30 to Feb. 15 due to heavy interest from the public, Federal Railroad Administration officials said. The NEC Future long term plan offers three visions for the 457-mile corridor between Washington D.C. and Boston, and among the proposals are Amtrak service to Philadelphia International Airport and Center City.
NEWS
December 22, 2015 | By Jason Laughlin, Staff Writer
A key train safety system is now active on Amtrak rails from Washington to New York. And SEPTA's Regional Rail system is not far behind in activating its own version of the technology, officials have said. Amtrak activated Positive Train Control, which can automatically slow or stop a speeding train, between Philadelphia and New York this past weekend. The system went online from Philadelphia to Washington a week ago, spokeswoman Christina Leeds said Sunday night. The system was already operational on Amtrak rails from New Haven, Conn., to Boston, she said.
NEWS
December 3, 2015 | By Jonathan Tamari, Inquirer Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - More money could become available to compensate victims of the May 12 Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia and fund rail safety upgrades under a bipartisan transportation bill, introduced Tuesday and expected to race to passage in Congress this week. Both provisions are small parts of a 1,300-page, five-year, roughly $300 billion package that touches on highway safety, railroad law, and road programs nationwide. The measure, agreed to by House and Senate negotiators to reconcile competing transportation bills, would raise the accident liability cap for railroads to $295 million, up from a $200 million cap first set in 1997.
NEWS
July 15, 2015
A story Sunday about Amtrak management mischaracterized the railroad's fatal derailment in Philadelphia. It was one of Amtrak's worst accidents on the Northeast Corridor, not the worst. A story Monday on contributions to Pennsylvania Supreme Court candidates incorrectly reported the amount given by lawyer Neil O'Donnell. He contributed $7,442 to Supreme Court candidates this year.
BUSINESS
July 13, 2015 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
As it recovers from its worst accident on the Northeast Corridor, Amtrak faces frequent management turnover and structural change,in addition tochronic financial and political challenges. Former Amtrak executives say the turmoil at the top in recent years has disrupted railroad management and distracted employees from their daily duties. Steven Ditmeyer, a former Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) executive and now an adjunct professor in railway management at Michigan State University, said: "Rapid changes in management are never good, unless they're aimed at getting rid of nonfunctioning people.
REAL_ESTATE
June 29, 2015 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
One in a continuing series spotlighting real estate markets in the region's communities. They call it the "Beep-Beep Tunnel," and when you come across it as you make your way through Glenolden Park on your walk to MacDade Boulevard, you'll immediately know why. On either side of the one-lane tunnel that takes West Knowles Avenue under the CSX rail bed, motorists must stop and honk their horns to determine that no cars are starting in...
BUSINESS
June 28, 2015 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
Sen. Robert P. Casey (D., Pa.) and the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce called Friday for the restoration of $242 million for Amtrak that the House cut from next year's federal budget. Casey and Lisa Crutchfield, the chamber's senior vice president of advocacy and public affairs, said Amtrak was an important economic engine for the region, critical for job growth and economic development. They urged the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on transportation, housing, and urban development to include $1.4 billion for Amtrak in the budget for the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1. That would be about the same as the $1.39 billion provided to Amtrak this year and higher than the $1.14 billion in the budget approved June 9 by the House.
NEWS
June 24, 2015 | By Maria Panaritis, Inquirer Staff Writer
James Pickup burned down a Frankford factory to get rid of fingerprints from a burglary. But instead of throwing off investigators, the arson led authorities to Pickup - and, on Monday, landed him a federal prison sentence. U.S. District Judge Darnell Jones II sentenced Pickup to five years behind bars and three years on supervised release - what prosecutors had sought - for orchestrating what raged into a four-alarm fire at 2211 Wakeling St. on Dec. 16, 2012. The arson at Arco Sales Co. shut down Amtrak and SEPTA service on the Northeast Corridor line for three hours, and left the naval products manufacturer reduced to ruins.
NEWS
June 19, 2015 | By Jonathan Tamari, Inquirer Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - Passenger rail operators working to install an upgraded safety system would get priority for federal grants and loans under a bill introduced Thursday by Sens. Cory Booker (D., N.J.) and Roger Wicker (R., Miss.), the top lawmakers on a subcommittee overseeing rail lines. The grant tweaks are part of a measure providing four years of increased funding for Amtrak, and come after the derailment of Train 188 in Philadelphia brought new attention to Positive Train Control, an electronic monitoring system that national safety advocates say could have prevented the crash.
BUSINESS
June 19, 2015 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
Northeast states and transit agencies - including SEPTA and NJ Transit - are being asked to pay more to maintain the heavily traveled rail corridor between Washington and Boston that they share with Amtrak. The new cost-sharing plan for the Northeast Corridor is due to take effect Oct. 1, although Massachusetts has objected. That state is upset about its higher bill and the prospect that the plan "may mark the beginning of a devolution of federal responsibility down to the states.
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