U.S. Department of Transportation to Allocate $68 Million for Â State-of-the-Art Train Cars in California
The Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority (CCJPA) received welcome news from federal officials yesterday, May 9.Â The U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT) has awarded Californiaâ€™s intercity passenger rail service $68 million to procure 15 new, state-of-the-art train cars and four cleaner-running locomotives.Â â€œAs a long-time passenger rail advocate, I am very thrilled that Capitol Corridor will benefit from this federal investment,â€ State Assemblymember Roger Dickinson said.Â Dickinson served on the CCJPA Board of Directors for over 10 years.
The new cars will be distributed between California’s passenger rail services in the north (Capitol Corridor and San Joaquin) and in the south (Pacific Surfliner).Â CCJPA officials expect the additional train cars to be on the tracks in three to four years.
“The arrival of these new train cars and locomotives couldn’t come at a better time to accommodate the steadily growing ridership on all three corridors,” CCJPA Chair Bob Franklin said.Â â€œEach month we see thousands of more riders on the Capitol Corridor and we need more cars to meet passenger capacity needs.â€
For more than a year, the Capitol Corridor has experienced an upward trend in ridership.Â â€œOur April results show double-digit increases for the fourth month in a row.Â Last month, nearly 11 percent more customers avoided the pain at the pump and chose to ride the Capitol Corridor instead of driving,â€ CCJPA Managing Director David Kutrosky said.Â â€œWe achieved a recordbreaking April threshold:Â 152,781 passengers boarded Capitol Corridor trains compared to 137,871 in April 2010.â€
About the US DOT Award
The award for California fleet cars was included in the US DOTâ€™s $2.02 billion in high-speed rail awards, which were announced yesterday on May 9, by US DOT Secretary Ray LaHood.Â The $2.02 billion allocation to U.S. rail projects provides an unprecedented investment to speed up trains in the Northeast Corridor, expand service in the Midwest and provide the state-of-the-art locomotives and rail cars as part of the Administrationâ€™s plan to transform travel in America. The Departmentâ€™s Federal Railroad Administration selected 15 states and Amtrak to receive $2.02 billion for 22 high-speed intercity passenger rail projects as part of a nationwide network that will connect 80 percent of Americans to high-speed rail in 25 years.