BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Amtrak completed a months-long project at New York’s Penn Station, taking a first step in upgrading America’s rail system.
Amtrak CEO Richard Anderson outlined the plan on CBS This Morning.
The renovation involved 360 workers, who installed nearly 900 track ties, 1,100 feet of rails and poured concrete more than the length of a football field. It’s just the beginning of Amtrak renovations on the rail system infrastructure.
“Mass transit and commuter trains should play a more important role,” Anderson said. “First imperative is to get the infrastructure fixed and the work we did in Penn Station shows Amtrak can do a great job doing this and we have a lot of investment to make in the Northeast corridor.”
High speed service like in France and Japan is not likely in the near future.
“Not unless we make the infrastructure investments necessary to support high speed rail,” Anderson said.
Riders at Baltimore’s Penn Station found appreciation of the service.
“Anything I can do to stay out of my car and stay out of traffic around here I’m going to do it,” one man said.
“I have no problems,” another man said.
“It was good, I can’t complain,” another said.
“I like the service very much,” one woman said.
“I can never ever complain about Amtrak,” another woman said.
But there’s no denying room for improvement.
“If we could just get our train speeds up and operate more non-stop service in very densely populated urban corridors it would be a great service to the traveling public in America,” Anderson said.
Amtrak is working on a fleet of new trains for service from Washington to New York every half-hour.
Baltimore’s Penn Station is the eighth busiest station in Amtrak’s national system.
Amtrak serves an average of 31 million customers a year nationwide.