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Amtrak seeks $75B in federal funds to expand rail network, add new routes


(WASHINGTON) — Amtrak could be coming to a city near you.

The company released its Amtrak Corridor Vision Thursday, detailing its 15-year proposal to use federal money to introduce 39 new routes to its network and add service to 160 new communities.

“Now is the time to invest in our country’s infrastructure and future,” Bill Flynn, the company’s CEO, said. “New and improved rail service has the ability to change how our country moves and provides cleaner air, less traffic and a more connected country.”

The plan calls for a $75 billion federal investment — the total cost of the project — to grow rail service across the United States. It also looks to improve service on 25 existing routes. Amtrak said the plan has “the potential to expand or improve rail service for 20 million additional passengers each year.”

Amtrak is also looking to improve service in cities like Houston, Atlanta and Cincinnati, which are currently underserved by trains.

President Joe Biden’s initial infrastructure proposal allocated $80 billion to “address Amtrak’s repair backlog; modernize the high traffic Northeast Corridor; improve existing corridors and connect new city pairs.”

Republicans released their counteroffer to the president’s updated proposal Thursday and it would allocate a fraction of that — $46 billion — to passenger and freight rail.

In addition to the $75 billion, Amtrak is asking Congress to create a corridor development program “aimed at developing new passenger rail corridors and improving existing corridor routes.”

The company is also calling upon legislators to pass a law that gives Amtrak the authority to enforce another decades-old law that prioritizes passenger rail on freight railroads — saying “many freight railroads ignore the law because Amtrak is unable to enforce it,” creating passenger delays.

“This country faces urgent challenges that demand a sustainable, reliable, and equitable transportation system,” Flynn said.

ABC News Allison Pecorin contributed to this report.

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