In January 2013 the Northeast Corridor (NEC) Commission released its report, Critical Infrastructure Needs on the Northeast Corridor. This report and its accompanying interactive map serve as an informational resource that describes the improvements needed to reduce delays, achieve a state-of-good-repair, and build capacity for growth on the NEC.
Demand for rail service in the NEC is at record levels. The NEC, however, cannot continue to accommodate rising demand due to infrastructure that is highly congested and in need of repair. Hundreds of its bridges and tunnels are now over a century old; major portions of its electrical power supply system date from the 1930s or earlier; and signal systems rely on decades-old installations. With more than 2,000 trains per day and major segments at or near capacity, operating the NEC leaves little room for error, while capacity chokepoints preclude the increases in service necessary to accommodate growing demand.
The Critical Infrastructure Needs in this report were identified through a consensus-based process by the NEC Commission’s members, which include representatives from the NEC States, U.S. DOT, and Amtrak. This report recognizes that additional investment is necessary to renew and enhance the NEC as a world-class, high-performance rail corridor supporting the economic development and international competitiveness of the region and the nation with job creation, improved reliability of existing services, and a foundation for future mobility and economic growth.