Tucked into the testimony of Amtrak President Joesph Boardman at last week’s Senate hearing on the future of the Northeast Corridor is this graphic demonstrating the number of daily train movements by operator at different locations along the spine of the Northeast Corridor:
One interesting thing to note is the difference in the volume of Amtrak trains (light blue) north of New York, compared to south of New York. This also makes it easy to see the relative volume of Amtrak intercity trains and commuter trains, as well as a few freight movements per day north of Washington Union Station. Capacity improvements are needed to allow for a combination of increased intercity and commuter services (or even better), and other bottlenecks are likely in need of greater capacity for freight expansion on adjacent corridors.
In other Amtrak news, Systemic Failure takes note of the US rail regulatory apparatus continuing to shoot itself in the foot on even allowing efficient high speed rail and learning from everyone else around the world that has already done this hard work. The FRA rejected Amtrak’s reasoning below, with emphasis added by Drunk Engineer:
The assumption that the standards simplify the design process of the equipment and would save $2,000,000 per train set is false. The Acela example indicates the exact opposite to be true. The FRA rules, as existing and proposed, eliminate the possibility of purchasing off-the-shelf equipment. The engineering work required to design new compliant equipment alone would far outstrip any possible savings from the rules if there were any to be had.