The Northeast Corridor - the 460-mile railroad track and facilities between Washington, D.C., and Boston, Massachusetts - serves over 100 million passengers per year and is critical to the transportation infrastructure for eight states and the District of Columbia. The General Accounting Office (GAO) was requested to provide data on the users of the Northeast Corridor and the funding needed for its operations and maintenance. Specifically, this report focuses on (1) the relative use of the corridor by Amtrak and the commuter and freight railroads, (2) the sources of funding for expenditures on the corridor, and (3) the annual funding required to operate and maintain the corridor's infrastructure in a state of good repair and continue capital improvements at their historical rate. Briefly, results indicate the following: The Northeast Corridor is used daily by about 100 Amtrak trains, 1,100 commuter trains, and a few freight trains. From 1988-1993, Amtrak and commuter and freight railroads funded expenditures for operating and maintaining the corridor and for capital improvements. During these years, the percentage of funding from Amtrak and non-Amtrak sources on specific segments of the corridor varied widely. Amtrak and other users spent an average of about $497 million annually on the corridor's operations, maintenance, and capital improvements, from 1988-1993. Not withstanding this expenditure, Amtrak states that the corridor was not maintained in a state of good repair.

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  • Record URL:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Report to the Chairman, Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine, Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, U.S. Senate.
  • Corporate Authors:

    U.S. General Accounting Office

    441 G Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20548
  • Publication Date: 1996-6


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Tables;
  • Pagination: 45 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00727042
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: GA0/RCED-96-144
  • Files: NTL, TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 3 1996 12:00AM