The Northeast United States is the world’s fifth largest economy, contributing
30 percent of all jobs in the U.S. and generating 20 percent of the nation’s Gross
Domestic Product. By 2040, the Northeast is expected to add seven million new
residents, putting further pressure on all travel modes. Stronger, more reliable
transportation options—including investment in the Northeast Corridor—are
essential to support mobility and sustain the region’s economic growth.
The Tier 1 Draft EIS, published in November 2015, evaluated three distinct visions
for the NEC’s future that would either maintain, grow, or transform the role of
rail in the Northeast. The FRA received comments on the Tier 1 Draft EIS from
over 3,200 individuals, agencies, and interested organizations. The Preferred
Alternative represents a balanced approach, favored by many stakeholders,
that supports growth while addressing the most immediate needs for the
NEC’s aging infrastructure. Information on the FRA’s process for identifying
the Preferred Alternative can be found in the Tier 1 Final EIS, available online
Why Grow the NEC?
It takes many years to plan, design, and build major rail infrastructure, which can last for a century or more.With multiple owners and operators
on the NEC, a coordinated approach is critical to ensure that different investments made along the corridor work together to the benefit of all
users. As the first comprehensive plan for the 457-mile Northeast Corridor rail line in 40 years, NEC FUTURE will establish a framework for
future projects that may be undertaken and financed by the federal government, states, and railroads in the coming decades.
The Preferred Alternative, described below and in the Tier 1 Final Environmental Impact Statement, indicates the FRA’s direction toward
selecting an investment plan for the NEC. The FRA will identify the Selected Alternative in the Record of Decision, the next and final step in
the Tier 1 environmental process.
passenger rail service between metropolitan
areas, including Intercity-Express, Intercity-Corridor, and
long distance services
service within a metropolitan area
a new type of Intercity service that
operates with high performance equipment, stops at a mix of
Intercity and Regional rail stations, and offers lower fares
premium Intercity service that
makes limited stops and offers the shortest travel times
By 2040, the Northeast is
expected to add seven million
new residents, putting further
pressure on all travel modes.
Stronger, more reliable,
investment in the Northeast
Corridor—are essential to
support mobility and sustain the
region’s economic growth.