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Northeast Corridor (NEC) Future


NEC future map of study area

As manager of a PB/AECOM Joint Venture, we led NEC FUTURE, a comprehensive rail planning and investment evaluation for the Northeast Corridor (NEC), the nation’s busiest passenger rail corridor. Currently, more than 2,000 passenger trains operate over the NEC each day–including Amtrak and commuter rail services–along with approximately 70 freight trains. The NEC faces serious challenges posed by century-old infrastructure, outdated technology, and inadequate capacity to fully meet current travel demand or to expand. NEC FUTURE is intended to help the FRA address these critical mobility issues through innovative approaches to expand the region’s rail services.

NEC FUTURE launched in February 2012 and includes a Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and a Service Development Plan (SDP) for future passenger rail service on the NEC. These studies are intended to guide decision makers in directing Federal and other investments in the corridor through 2040. 

Key accomplishments include completion of the scoping process for the Tier 1 EIS, an initial travel market assessment, development of preliminary alternatives for evaluation, and a multi-faceted outreach program. By bringing together numerous stakeholders from the corridor’s eight states and the District of Columbia, including Amtrak and the NEC commuter railroads, the planning process is structured to help foster a broad agreement on future directions for corridor investment. The work facilitates preparation of the Tier 1 Draft EIS and the recommendation of a preferred investment program for the NEC.