Passenger Rail

Will new federal funding fuel a revival?


A 2021 federal infrastructure law aims to expand intercity passenger rail service throughout the United States, half a century after the federal government became the main provider of this service. Amtrak, the company Congress created to offer passenger rail, has suffered from years of inadequate funding and political infighting over its fate. The 2021 infrastructure measure embodies a marked change in Congress’ approach to the issue. The law includes $66 billion to improve and expand passenger rail service between cities, reflecting a growing appetite among the U.S. public and politicians for quality train service. But the success of that effort is not guaranteed. It will require accommodations from freight rail companies, continued political support in Congress and the states and, of course, millions of paying ...

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