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NEC FUTURE

Selected Alternative

Description

Preferred Alternative Map

The Selected Alternative is a corridor-wide vision for the NEC that includes improvements to grow the role of rail within the transportation system of the Northeast. The Selected Alternative prioritizes a corridor-wide commitment to the existing NEC, brings it to a state of good repair, and provides the additional capacity and service enhancements necessary to address passenger rail needs through 2040 and beyond.

The Selected Alternative will improve NEC rail service by establishing corridor-wide objectives for service and performance, and integrated operations for both Intercity and Regional rail services. In the Selected Alternative, the FRA approves modernization of the existing NEC to bring it to a state of good repair and approves infrastructure elements to achieve a corridor-wide Grow Vision only between Washington, D.C., and New Haven, CT, and between Providence, RI, and Boston, MA. For the NEC from New Haven, CT, and Providence, RI, the Selected Alternative does not approve infrastructure elements. In this portion of the NEC, the Selected Alternative requires a capacity planning study, in partnership with Connecticut and Rhode Island, to identify on- and off-corridor infrastructure as needed to achieve the Selected Alternative's service and performance objectives.

The Selected Alternative is a refinement of the Preferred Alternative identified in the Tier 1 Final EIS. In identifying the Selected Alternative, the FRA considered the same factors used to identify the Preferred Alternative – the technical analyses in the Tier 1 Draft EIS, U.S. DOT and FRA policy objectives, and input received from the public and stakeholders. In addition, the FRA considered the technical analyses in the Tier 1 Final EIS and feedback received following issuance of the Tier 1 Final EIS (see Appendix A of the Record of Decision).

The Selected Alternative is a corridor-wide vision for the NEC to achieve modern, efficient passenger rail service for travelers on the NEC, and consists of the following four components:

  • icon improveImprove Rail Service: Corridor-wide service and performance objectives for frequency, travel time, design speed, and passenger convenience.
  • icon expandExpand Rail Capacity: Additional infrastructure between Washington, D.C., and New Haven, CT, and between Providence, RI, and Boston, MA, as needed to achieve the service and performance objectives, including investments that add capacity, increase speeds, and eliminate chokepoints.
  • icon modernizeModernize NEC Infrastructure:Corridor-wide repair, replacement, and rehabilitation of the existing NEC to bring the corridor into a state of good repair and increase reliability.
  • icon planStudy New Haven to Providence Capacity:Planning study in Connecticut and Rhode Island to identify additional on- and off-corridor infrastructure as needed to achieve the service and performance objectives.

For more details on each of these components, see the Record of Decision.

chart: More Frequent Trains
chart: Improved Airport Connections
chart: Faster Trip Times
chart: More Jobs Accessible in a 45-minute Train Time
Infographic: Decrease in Greenhouses Gases and Energy Use