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Blumenthal, Murphy, Senators Push for More Rail Funding in Infrastructure Legislation

Senators filed amendment to increase funding for the country’s busiest rail hub – the Northeast Corridor – by $30 billion

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Cory Booker (D-NJ) led the push for more rail funding in the infrastructure bill. The Senators filed an amendment to the infrastructure bill to increase funding for the Northeast Corridor (NEC) by an additional $30 billion to help address major capital projects and support efforts to increase on-time-performance.

“Our railroads need bigger, broader, and bolder investment to ensure they’re faster and safer,” said Blumenthal. “The bipartisan infrastructure proposal addresses immediately needed maintenance and repairs, but such steps are only a beginning. The Northeast Corridor is the busiest rail hub in the country, but lags decades behind other countries in speed, reliability, and safety. I'm fighting for more funding to rebuild and invest in high speed rail on this bustling corridor critical to Connecticut and the entire country.”

“We can’t miss the opportunity to make major investments that would revitalize our rail system. It’s a no brainer that would spur long-term economic growth, create tons of jobs, and fight the climate crisis, and I’m glad to continue pushing for federal dollars to modernize the Northeast Corridor,” said Murphy.

The amendment would specifically add $20 billion to the NEC set aside for the Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail grants and $10 billion to NEC grants to Amtrak. The text of the amendment is available here. The bipartisan infrastructure bill released last week includes $66 billion in new funding for rail, including $30 billion for the NEC.

Last month, the Northeast Corridor Commission released its CONNECT NEC 2035 (C35) plan. This detailed plan calls for $117 billion worth of investment to move forward on a once-in-a-generation opportunity to replace aging bridges and tunnels, add rail capacity, improve performance, reduce travel times, and enhance customer experience along the corridor. The Northeast Corridor Commission was tasked by Congress with recommending improvements to the entire NEC. States in the Northeast, the federal government, commuter rail agencies, and Amtrak worked collectively to produce C35 – sequencing multiple projects in a way that minimizes service disruptions and reduces overall costs – and the plan now awaits adequate funding to realize its goals.