jtr1962 wrote:Is this just a study, or are they actually going ahead with everything proposed?
This is a proposed 20 year plan. The federal government and the states will have to come up with the money for the projects listed in the report to happen. If you look at the Track Schematics for the sections of the NEC, the track & station projects are in 3 colors: red for short term projects, blue for medium-term, green for long term. Many of the red short term projects are either already underway such as the replacement of the Niantic river bridge or authorized & in late planning & engineering stages such and the Pelham river bridge. Some of the projects listed for the feeder corridors such as the restoration of the tracks for the "knowledge corridor" in MA and the closing of the grade crossings on the Keystone East corridor have been funded by the HSR grants awarded from the $8 billion stimulus money. So some of the projects in the master plan will happen. But the medium and long term projects are in search of funding. New tunnels for the existing Penn Station under the Hudson and East River are not going be inexpensive.
While the lack of aggressiveness in speeding up times on the NYP-BOS segment is disappointing, the positive aspect is that there is a NEC infrastructure and Operations Advisory Commission. If the Commission stays active and funded, intercity ridership steadily increases on the NEC, and pressure grows for faster NYP-BOS run times, they can then do preliminary engineering studies and release a revised Master Plan or proposals calling for selected re-alignments of the Shore Line route or other alternatives. Provides a framework for long term plans and upgrades to the NEC as it develops, rather than Amtrak out there all by itself asking Congress for more funding.
But, yea, there is a LOT in this document and interesting tidbits on new or long delayed proposed projects to absorb.