Maryland seeks rail upgrades
(By Gerald Martineau/The Washington Post)
Maryland and 10 other states are asking federal railroad officials to develop a plan to dramatically upgrade high-speed passenger rail service along the Northeast Corridor over the next four decades.
The states proposed that the Federal Railroad Administration launch a three-year, $18.8 million study of possible expansions and improvements to Amtrak and commuter rail service along the Northeast Corridor from Boston to Washington.
The coalition said the FRA should identify both short-term and long-term projects that were outlined in a recent Northeast Corridor Infrastructure Master Plan. They included an expansion of rail service to smaller cities, as well as improving Acela travel times by 20 to 30 minutes between Washington and New York City and between New York City and Boston.
Highways and airports in the Northeast already face "major congestion and capacity constraints," and the coalition warned that failure to enhance rail service would severely limit the travel needs of the region's 62 million residents and hurt economic growth.
Other states in the coalition include Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.
-- Associated Press
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