No Action Alternative Alternative 1 Alternative 2 Alternative 3

No Action Alternative

The No Action Alternative represents an NEC in 2040 that operates with the same number of trains and types of service provided today. It includes planned and programmed projects to keep the NEC operating, but does not increase capacity, address gaps in connectivity, or achieve a state of good repair.

Service:
  • Same number of trains as today
  • Service quality likely to decline
  • Limited number of cities receive Intercity service
  • Many trips and transfers difficult to make
Includes:
  • Projects currently planned and programmed
  • Repairs to keep the railroad operating

Number of Daily Trains by Station

Number of Daily Trains by Service Type area_intercity area_regional-rail

Number of Stations Served

Number of Stations Served area_major-hub area_hub-stations area_local-stations

New Stations Served

New Stations Served

Shortest Travel Time

Shortest Travel Times

Number of Daily Intercity Trains between Representative
Station Pairs

Number of Daily Intercity Trains between Representative Station Pairs

Number of Daily Intercity Trains - Connecting Corridors

Number of Daily Intercity Trains - Connecting Corridors

Total Annual Passenger Trips (1,000s), 2040

Annual Trips (1,000s), 2040 area_intercity area_regional-rail

Jobs Accessible in a 30-Minute
Train Travel Time

Jobs Accessible in a 30-Minute Train Travel Time

Alternative 1: Maintain

Alternative 1 maintains the role of rail as it is today, increasing service to keep pace with growth in population and employment. This is accomplished by expanding capacity, adding tracks, and relieving key chokepoints, particularly through northern New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut.

Representative Improvements:
New Segment area_new-segment
New Track area_new-track
Chokepoint Relief Project area_choke
Potential Station (not all shown)

Number of Daily Trains by Station

Number of Daily Trains by Service Type area_intercity area_regional-rail

Number of Stations Served

Number of Stations Served area_major-hub area_hub-stations area_local-stations
MAJOR HUB stations serve the largest markets in the Study Area and have the full complement of rail services types. Major Hub stations serve the four primary markets: Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston, as well as other major markets within the Study Area, including but not limited to Baltimore, MD; Stamford, CT; and Providence, RI.
HUB stations offer some Intercity service, although the Intercity-Express service is more limited than the service levels offered at Major Hub stations. Hub stations include the existing smaller intermediate Amtrak stations, as well as selected key Regional rail stations and new stations that have the potential to fill connectivity gaps in the existing passenger rail network, serve special trip generators, and/or provide important inter-modal connections.
LOCAL stations are served almost exclusively by Regional rail trains, on the portions of the NEC where Regional rail service is offered. Examples of local stations include Halethorpe, MD; Claymont, DE; Torresdale, PA; Edison, NJ; Larchmont, NY; Westport, CT; Wickford Jct., RI; and Attleboro, MA.

New Stations Served

New Stations Served

Shortest Travel Time

Shortest Travel Times

Number of Daily Intercity Trains between Representative
Station Pairs

Number of Daily Intercity Trains between Representative Station Pairs

Number of Daily Intercity Trains - Connecting Corridors

Number of Daily Intercity Trains - Connecting Corridors

Total Annual Passenger Trips (1,000s), 2040

Annual Trips (1,000s), 2040 area_intercity area_regional-rail

Jobs Accessible in a 30-Minute
Train Travel Time

Jobs Accessible in a 30-Minute Train Travel Time

Alternative 2: Grow

Alternative 2 grows the role of rail, with service that accommodates a larger proportion of Northeast travelers as population and employment grow. This alternative maximizes the capacity and service provided on the existing NEC. A supplemental route between New Haven, Hartford and Providence serves new passengers, reduces trip time and increases resiliency.

Representative Improvements:
New Segment area_new-segment
New Track area_new-track
Chokepoint Relief Project area_choke
Potential Station (not all shown)

Number of Daily Trains by Station

Number of Daily Trains by Service Type area_intercity area_regional-rail

Number of Stations Served

Number of Stations Served area_major-hub area_hub-stations area_local-stations

New Stations Served

New Stations Served

Shortest Travel Time

Shortest Travel Times

Number of Daily Intercity Trains between Representative
Station Pairs

Number of Daily Intercity Trains between Representative Station Pairs

Number of Daily Intercity Trains - Connecting Corridors

Number of Daily Intercity Trains - Connecting Corridors

Total Annual Passenger Trips (1,000s), 2040

Annual Trips (1,000s), 2040 area_intercity area_regional-rail

Jobs Accessible in a 30-Minute
Train Travel Time

Jobs Accessible in a 30-Minute Train Travel Time

Alternative 3: Transform

Alternative 3 transforms the role of rail, positioning it as a dominant mode for Intercity travelers and commuters across the NEC. In addition to major service upgrades on the existing NEC, a two-track second spine is added within the Study Area to support high-performance rail service between major cities. Four route options are under consideration for the northern portion of the second spine, as shown on the map.

*numbers vary depending on the route option

Representative Improvements:
Second Spine
New Segment area_new-segment
New Track area_new-track
Chokepoint Relief Project area_choke
Potential Station (not all shown)

Number of Daily Trains by Station

Number of Daily Trains by Service Type area_intercity area_regional-rail

Number of Stations Served (range)*

Number of Stations Served (range) area_major-hub area_hub-stations area_local-stations

New Stations Served (range)*

New Stations Served (range)

Shortest Travel Time

Shortest Travel Times

Number of Daily Intercity Trains between Representative
Station Pairs (average)

Number of Daily Intercity Trains between Representative Station Pairs

Number of Daily Intercity Trains - Connecting Corridors (average)

Number of Daily Intercity Trains - Connecting Corridors

Total Annual Passenger Trips (1,000s), 2040 (average)

Annual Trips (1,000s), 2040 area_intercity area_regional-rail

Jobs Accessible in a 30-Minute
Train Travel Time (range)*

Jobs Accessible in a 30-Minute Train Travel Time
New track construction on new right-of-way that does not follow the existing NEC
Improvements that increase capacity or improve trip times, generally contained within the right-of-way of the existing NEC
Location-specific capital projects to provide relief of train movement congestion and increase railroad capacity at several existing chokepoints
MAJOR HUB stations serve the largest markets in the Study Area and have the full complement of rail services types. Major Hub stations serve the four primary markets: Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston, as well as other major markets within the Study Area, including but not limited to Baltimore, MD; Stamford, CT; and Providence, RI.
HUB stations offer some Intercity service, although the Intercity-Express service is more limited than the service levels offered at Major Hub stations. Hub stations include the existing smaller intermediate Amtrak stations, as well as selected key Regional rail stations and new stations that have the potential to fill connectivity gaps in the existing passenger rail network, serve special trip generators, and/or provide important inter-modal connections.
LOCAL stations are served almost exclusively by Regional rail trains, on the portions of the NEC where Regional rail service is offered. Examples of local stations include Halethorpe, MD; Claymont, DE; Torresdale, PA; Edison, NJ; Larchmont, NY; Westport, CT; Wickford Jct., RI; and Attleboro, MA.
Intercity passenger rail service provides transportation between cities or metropolitan areas at speeds and distances greater than that of commuter or Regional rail.
Regional rail services are concentrated within the travel shed of a single metropolitan region. Regional rail trains provide local and commuter-focused service characterized by relatively low fares compared and a high percentage of regular travelers.