Friday, November 27, 2009

Amtrak Infrastructure Mess

It should come as no surprise that Amtrak's infrastructure is a mess. There are dozens of bridges owned by Amtrak in the New York area, and many of them are deficient, obsolete, and have serious structural problems.

When Amtrak spends $40 million on infrastructure annually, something is going to give. And, when it does, someone may find a train derailed or someone seriously hurt. $40 million is insufficient to paint bridges and conduct routine maintenance, let alone carry out serious repairs. Yet, Amtrak has allowed its infrastructure to crumble for years on end.

It's going to take a whole lot more than $40 million to get the bridges and tunnels up to functional condition. It must take a concerted effort to do so, and if Amtrak cannot do so on the most heavily trafficked region, the Northeast Corridor, then what hope does the nation have to improve rail transit?

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