Amtrak plans to expand new nonstop Acela service from New York
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Amtrak has plans to expand the nonstop Acela service it launched on the Northeast Corridor this fall and grand plans for the expansion of short-haul passenger service nationwide.
The nonstop Acela service currently operates with just one round-trip between New York’s Penn Station and Washington Union Station, but Amtrak plans to add nonstop trains in both directions during peak hours, CEO Richard Anderson said Friday during Amtrak’s fiscal year 2019 earnings call. In addition, it wants to expand the nonstop service north between New York and Boston South Station.
The additional nonstop trains would be part of a tiered service plan for the Northeast Corridor. Limited-stop Acela trains would be a tier below, followed by Northeast Regional trains, and finally a new tier of service that makes all local stops on routes between Richmond, Virginia, and Maine.
“The idea needs to be to serve every municipality that we touch up and down the corridor,” said Anderson.
View this post on Instagram
Anderson’s vision for Amtrak in the Northeast is part of a larger strategy to get the national railroad on firmer financial footing. He sees a future where Amtrak self-funds its operations, with federal and state funding going exclusively to capital investments, like a new tunnel between New Jersey and New York under the Hudson River.
Amtrak shrank its annual operating loss dramatically to $29.8 million during the fiscal year ending in September, compared to $171 million the year before.
Amtrak also sees growth opportunities outside of the Northeast Corridor. In the coming year, there are plans to add frequencies to the busy routes between Chicago and Milwaukee, Los Angeles and San Diego and Seattle and Portland, Oregon.
Anderson’s ambitions for Amtrak do not stop at added frequencies on a few routes. He espoused a vision where, on corridors up to 300 miles, passenger rail is a frequent and reliable alternative to flying and driving throughout the U.S.
“There is an inevitability that short-haul passenger rail is going to have to grow in America because we don’t have the highways,” he said — a view he also held five years ago when he was CEO of Delta Air Lines.
This vision of expanded short-haul passenger rail requires funding from both federal and state governments, Anderson said.
Anderson’s latest comments come as Americans are increasingly taking the train. Amtrak ridership grew 2.5% year-over-year to 32.5 million trips during the fiscal year ending in September. The Northeast Corridor, its busiest route, saw a 3.3% increase to 12.5 million trips.
Featured image by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees