The USA is receiving a significant improvement to its passenger rail systems in a number of projects across the nation. These projects are expected to bring many benefits such as improved speeds and efficiency, better safety, and improved environmental sustainability.
Notable among the projects are those supported by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), which has provided nearly $1 billion in grants since 2017 to improve existing rail corridors and develop new ones.
Seatle with the ST3 project includes a $54 billion light-rail expansion. The project scope consists of over 20 projects, including 62 miles of new light rail and 37 more stations to create a 116-mile regional transit system. In addition to the coverage, ST3 involves highly specialized engineering work, such as floating tracks over lakes and elevated sections in urban areas.
California is also unveiling a high-speed rail that will connect the state’s major cities. The 119-mile Central Valley Segment of the rail system is expected to be completed in 2022 and will eventually increase speeds up to 200 miles an hour, cutting travel time between San Francisco and Los Angeles in less than three hours.
New York is improving its passenger rail service through the East Side Access project. The $11 billion project will connect the Long Island Rail Road to Grand Central Terminal, creating a new terminal with eight tracks and four platforms. The station will be situated over 100 feet below street level and is expected to open in 2022.
Chicago is modernizing its transit system with the Chicago Transit Authority’s Red/Purple Line Modernization Program. The project aims to replace 9.6 miles of tracks that were built in 1924 and are now in need of frequent repairs. Adding new railcars and providing improved capacity is also part of the program, which is expected to be completed by 2024.
These projects are sure to have a positive impact on rail transportation in the US. These improvements will enable more efficient and comfortable transport for passengers, as well as reduce transportation costs and minimize environmental impacts. This is the future of rail in the US, one that promises to revolutionize how people travel across the country.
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