Quick Facts About Intercity Passenger Rail

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Federal support for passenger rail projects in 29 states and the District of Columbia since 2009:
  • $8 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
  • Under the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act (PRIIA) (this requires state matching funds):
  • $90 million in FY 2009 appropriations 
  • $2.5 billion in FY 2010 appropriations

  • $4.26 billion given the green light by the Federal Railroad Administration for projects  

 Existing train ridership:

  • 28.7 million passengers carried by Amtrak from October 1, 2009 to September 30, 2010 – up 6 percent
  • 10.4 million passengers annually between Washington and Boston
  • 5.2 million passengers carried annually on California’s state-owned rail lines

 Expected benefits:

  • A modern, forward-looking passenger rail system
  • Upgraded stations that meet the information and comfort needs of train travelers
  • Reliable, well-paying jobs
  • 150,000 jobs projected to be created by high-speed rail in four U.S. cities over next 25 years. 
  •  24,000 construction and manufacturing jobs per $1 billion of capital investment.
  • 41,000 operation and maintenance jobs per $1 billion operating investment
  • Reduced congestion
  • Reduced energy use:  passenger rail is 21 percent more fuel efficient than vehicles
  • Reduced emissions:  71 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, compared to vehicles
State-Host Railroad Stakeholder Agreements

To protect the taxpayer’s investment in passenger rail and insure high-quality and on-time train service, the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act (PRIIA) required that states and the private railroads negotiate stakeholder agreements before federal funding could be released.

Performance-based and quantifiable measures such as trip times, reliability and the frequency of service must be included in these agreements. Because much of the passenger service in the U.S. rides on rails owned by private railroads, the rights of these stakeholders to continue to maintain and improve their own service must also be incorporated into these agreements.

AASHTO's Vision and Call to Action for a National High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Program

  • A National Rail Policy to provide a robust high-speed and intercity passenger rail network.
  • Federally funded, state-administered dedicated funding for a high-speed and intercity passenger rail program.
  • Competitive, reliable, and frequent passenger rail service, comparable to world-class systems.
  • Expedited project delivery.
  • Ability to grow the capacity of our world-class freight network while expanding capacity for intercity passenger rail.



Major Milestones in Achieving America's Next Rail Network