Amtrak President Joseph Boardman told the Senate Commerce Committee’s surface transportation subcommittee that the Gateway project is Amtrak’s “top priority among a long list of major priorities.”
The recently enacted legislation sets aside $305 billion for roads, bridges, transit and railroads over five years, and makes changes to federal railroad loan programs. The policy will allow Amtrak to get more funding for the tunnel and the replacement of the Portal Bridge over the Hackensack River.
The measure earmarks $8 billion for Amtrak over the next five years and requires the railroad to spend profits earned along the Northeast Corridor to improve service between Washington and Boston rather than use them to subsidize money-losing routes elsewhere.
Boardman said the new Gateway tunnel’s environmental impact study will begin in April and Amtrak will need federal funding to advance the project. The federal government has agreed to pay for half of the project.