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Amtrak spending reaches record levels with plans to expand even more

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Amtrak awarded a contract for a $6 billion capital project, its largest ever, to build a tunnel in Baltimore.

The project comes as Amtrak plans to expand and grow its rail service despite decreased ridership.

Amtrak set a record in 2023 with $5.4 billion in expenses as it expands despite ridership being down 12% from pre-pandemic levels in 2019, according to reports.

Amtrak receives most of its funding through ridership and government funding, but according to reports, Amtrak reported a nearly $1.75 billion net loss in fiscal year 2023, about twice as much as the reported $880.9 million in red ink Amtrak incurred in 2019.

Slowly, ridership has been increasing and reached 12.1 million in 2023, nearing the 12.5 million in 2019 and matching the 12.1 million ridership in 2018.

“Amtrak has rebounded from the pandemic and is growing again as part of our plan to double ridership by 2040,” said Amtrak CEO Stephen Gardner in a press release. “With funding from the infrastructure bill in hand, we and our partners are transforming intercity passenger rail across the country in a big way.”

Amtrak’s goal is to double ridership to 66 million by 2040, while working on improving ridership service for riders, while modernizing and upgrading the infrastructure, stations, and fleet technology.

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