Amtrak aims to double ridership within 20 years

Rich Thomaselli | TravelPulse (TNS)

It almost seems like an anachronism. Taking a trip by train is like something out of the past.

Now, Amtrak is looking to double in size.

By using funds from the 2021 infrastructure bill, Amtrak is making improvements at some of its biggest and most popular hubs. Those include train stations in New York, Washington, Baltimore, Chicago and Philadelphia.

“Amtrak is making significant investments to modernize our stations,” said EVP Laura Mason, who is overseeing the company’s internal infrastructure overhaul.

Amtrak’s budget is expected to zoom. Annual capital investments alone are slated to rise to $2.5 billion by 2025. They were $785 million as recently as 2019.

Improvements and renovations are scheduled for Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station, New York’s Penn Station and Chicago’s Union Station.

Penn Station in Baltimore, which is over 100 years old, is also expected to undergo improvements and renovations. The station has not seen a refresh in almost 40 years.

The renovations could bring a whole new life to the national railroad company.

In August, Amtrak ordered 10 more Airo trainsets as part of its modernization efforts, bringing the total to 83 trainsets, which are expected to first debut in 2026.

The Amtrak Airo trainsets, which consist of both locomotive and passenger carriages, will modernize Amtrak’s fleet across the country, with greater comfort for passengers, more space for luggage and a greater focus on sustainability, producing 90% less particulate emissions than on traditional diesel trains.


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