Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons recently joined their Senate colleagues in requesting continued funding to make much-needed upgrades and safety improvements to America’s transportation systems, including to rail lines along the Northeast Corridor.
In a letter addressed to U.S. Senate Appropriations Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee Chairwoman Susan Collins, R-Maine, and THUD Subcommittee Ranking Member Jack Reed, D-Rhode Island, the group of senators emphasized that insufficient funding for NEC infrastructure improvements could jeopardize the lives of those who travel by rail.
The senators requested that two NEC programs — the Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair Program, which improves passenger rail infrastructure on the NEC, and the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements Program, which can expand the use of life-saving Positive Train Control technology — be funded at $500 million and $255 million, respectively. Funding for rail safety and infrastructure is supported by businesses, universities and various chambers of commerce along the NEC.
About 90 passenger trains move through Delaware each weekday, providing a convenient rail option for more than 700,000 passengers at three stations. Wilmington is the 13th busiest station in the national Amtrak System, and plays a key role in supporting the economic vitality of the megaregion.