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Tier 1 EIS Alternatives

The FRA developed three distinct Action Alternatives for evaluation in the Tier 1 Draft Environmental Impact Statement.

  • Alternative 1 maintains the role of rail with sufficient service to keep pace with population and employment growth
  • Alternative 2 grows the role of rail with service to new markets and to accommodate a greater portion of the population
  • Alternative 3 transforms the role of rail by becoming a dominant mode choice for travel in the Northeast

These Action Alternatives have been analyzed and compared to a No Action Alternative in the Tier 1 Draft EIS. For a complete definition and description of each alternative, refer to the Tier 1 EIS Alternatives Report.

Each Action Alternative represents a different long-term vision for improving passenger rail service that will enhance mobility options, improve performance, and better serve existing and new markets that support future population and employment growth in the Study Area. While the Action Alternatives are distinct in their service and physical characteristics, each of them:

  • Maintains and improves service on the existing NEC
  • Brings the NEC to a state of good repair by replacing or renewing aging infrastructure and eliminating the backlog of infrastructure requiring replacement
  • Addresses the most pressing chokepoints that constrain capacity on the existing NEC
  • Protects freight rail access and the opportunity for future expansion


Select an NEC passenger below to learn more about how each alternative could affect their lives.