Amtrak plans to expand new nonstop Acela service from New York

Nov 8, 2019

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.

Related: Amtrak to Launch Nonstop Acela Service Between New York and Washington


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Ned Russell (@airbus777) on

The plan for expanded Acela service is part of a larger investment program, which includes new trainsets with updated interiors that are due to enter service in 2021.

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.

Sign up for the free daily TPG newsletter for more travel news!

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.

Related: Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner is the best way from Los Angeles to San Diego

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.

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card

This card from Bank of America gets really interesting if you have a BofA checking, savings or investment account. Depending on the value of your combined accounts you can potentially get as much as 3.5x points on travel/dining and 2.625x points on other purchases making it the richest consumer banking bonus out there.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Receive 50,000 bonus points – a $500 value – after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase
  • No limit to the points you can earn and your points don't expire
  • Redeem for cash back as a statement credit, deposit into eligible Bank of America® accounts, credit to eligible Merrill accounts, or gift cards or purchases at the Bank of America Travel Center
  • Get up to $200 in combined airline incidental and airport expedited screening statement credits + valuable travel insurance protections
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Low $95 annual fee
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
17.74% - 24.74% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.