© 2024 Blaze Media LLC. All rights reserved.
Biden admin announces $16.4 billion for Amtrak improvements despite company’s failure to turn a profit
Photo by Kyle Mazza/Anadolu via Getty Images

Biden admin announces $16.4 billion for Amtrak improvements despite company’s failure to turn a profit

The Biden administration announced Monday a $16.4 billion investment in Amtrak to make rail system improvements to its Northeast Corridor, despite the company never having turned a profit since its creation in 1971.

President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law promises a $66 billion total investment in rail, which the administration touted as the "largest investment" in Amtrak's history.

The new funding for the 25 passenger rail projects on the company's Northeast Corridor will rebuild tunnels and bridges and upgrade tracks, power systems, signals, and stations. It will also go toward future projects aimed at reducing travel times.

Amtrak's Northeast Corridor runs from Boston, Massachusetts, to Washington, D.C., and supports 800,000 trips daily, making it the company's most traveled corridor. The White House claimed that a single-day shutdown of the corridor would cost the economy $100 million in lost productivity.

"Combined with Amtrak's nearly $9 billion fleet replacement program, which will replace over 1,000 locomotives and coaches with state-of-the art and Made-in-America equipment, these investments will ensure that train service is more convenient and climate-friendly than either driving or flying. The funding will also contribute to more than 100,000 good-paying union jobs in construction," the White House said Monday.

Biden traveled to Bear, Delaware, to announce the historic investments.

Approximately $3.8 billion of the funds will "rehabilitate and expand" the Gateway Hudson River Tunnel between New York and New Jersey. The tunnel, which is over 100 years old, sustained damage during Hurricane Sandy, the administration noted.

"Combined with other investments, the total Biden administration commitment to the tunnel project will be a record $11 billion," the White House stated.

Maryland's Frederick Douglass Tunnel will receive $4.7 billion to reduce the curvature and steep incline, which forces trains to travel at 30 miles per hour. The upgrades will allow trains to increase speeds to 110 miles per hour.

The Biden administration earmarked $2.1 billion of the funds to replace Maryland's Susquehanna River Bridge with "two new two-track spans that will allow speeds to increased from 90 mph to 125 mph."

Penn Station Access in New York will receive $1.6 billion to repair 19 miles of tracks, bridges, and signals. Roughly $827 million will go toward replacing the Connecticut River Bridge, increasing speeds, safety, and reliability, the administration stated.

Last week, the White House's Office of Budget and Management released a statement condemning House Republicans for attempting to impose "draconian cuts" to Amtrak's funding. The lawmakers proposed H.R. 4820, a transportation and housing appropriations bill, which would provide the railroad company with $867 million in grants for the 2024 fiscal year. Amtrak typically receives, on average, $2 billion in yearly federal subsidies.

The OMB reported that the proposed legislation "would reduce or potentially eliminate certain Long Distance and State Supported services and risk operations and critical capital expenses on the Northeast Corridor."

"If the President were presented with H.R. 4820, he would veto it," the OMB declared.

On Tuesday, the Transportation Trades Department of the AFL-CIO released a letter claiming the Republicans' bill "proposed draconian funding cuts" to Amtrak "that would devastate U.S. passenger and freight rail networks and the dedicated rail workers that run them."

During Biden's speech Monday, he accused Republicans of trying to make Amtrak "slower" and "less safe."

"We're not going to let them stop the progress we're making," he stated.

Amtrak already receives $4.4 billion in yearly grants from the Infrastructure Investment Jobs Act.

Additionally, recent reporting from Open the Books found that the company is "at the top of the Top Paid list of federal agencies," shelling out an average salary of $121,000 to its 19,000 workers.

The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure has reported that Amtrak could not remain operational "without significant taxpayer support."

Like Blaze News? Bypass the censors, sign up for our newsletters, and get stories like this direct to your inbox. Sign up here!

Want to leave a tip?

We answer to you. Help keep our content free of advertisers and big tech censorship by leaving a tip today.
Want to join the conversation?
Already a subscriber?
Candace Hathaway

Candace Hathaway

Candace Hathaway is a staff writer for Blaze News.
@candace_phx →