President Biden traveled to Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station Friday to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Amtrak’s first rail ride, from New York City to Philadelphia, and tout a grand future for the federally funded train system.
“Today we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity position — Amtrak and rail and inner-city rail — to play a central role in our transformation and transportation economic future,” the president said during a Friday press event.
Biden’s proposed $2 trillion spending package, which targets job growth, infrastructure, and climate forward initiatives, would allocate $10 billion a year to passenger and freight rail systems – two-thirds of which would support current Amtrak railways.
Biden said that in addition to creating “critical jobs” like laying tracks, fixing bridges, tunnels, and modernizing stations, the plan would expand rail systems between cities outside of the northeast corridor.
“Imagine a two-hour train ride between Atlanta and Charlotte, going at speeds of two hundred and twenty miles an hour, and two and a half hour trip between Chicago and Detroit,” Biden said. “Faster and more regular trips between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, a route that I imagine could be pretty popular on Fridays,” he added.
Biden said that developing the U.S. rail system would change how families are able to live in the U.S., connect communities that feel left behind, and provide cleaner transportation.
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