Amtrak: 50 Years of Leading the Way
For 50 years, Amtrak has made passenger rail service accessible to communities all across America—both large and small. Take a look at our five decades of investments in innovation, safety, service, sustainability and to the communities we serve. Then see what we are doing to fulfill our commitment to safe, reliable and state-of-the-art rail service in the 21st century.
2010s - With continued investments in sustainable technologies and equipment to reduce its carbon footprint, Amtrak continues to be a leader in eco-friendly travel.
While waiting for their trains, Amtrak customers enjoy free Wi-Fi service at New York Penn Station, Washington Union Station, Boston South Station, Philadelphia 30th Street Station, Baltimore Penn and Wilmington, Delaware.
By year’s end, 14 commuter agencies or state transportation agencies contract with Amtrak to provide passenger service or use portions of the Amtrak system and facilities to serve their riders.
Amtrak celebrates its first four decades with a special 40th Anniversary Exhibit Train year-long tour that hits 45 cities and welcomes more than 85,000 visitors.
"Amtrak Connect" Wi-Fi equipment is installed on more than 450 Amfleet cars, providing nearly 75 percent of all Amtrak passengers with access to free on-board Wi-Fi.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Amtrak works to quickly restore service along the busy Northeast Corridor by pumping out flooded tunnels in New York and offering free travel to emergency personnel and those working on recovery efforts.
Amtrak implements eTicketing across the entire national network including on Northeast Corridor, state-supported and long-distance services.
Auto Train passengers gain the opportunity to purchase Priority Vehicle Offloading which guarantees that their vehicle will be one of the first 20 off the train.
Amtrak achieves Bronze status by the American Public Transportation Association for continued achievements in its sustainability efforts. By 2017, it reaches Gold-level status.
Renovated historic stations in Denver and St. Paul, Minn., open to the public and offer new retail, event and hospitality spaces. These beautifully preserved buildings bring hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in new investment to these communities.
Amtrak makes it easier for travelers to leave their cars at home by increasing Thruway bus connections along the Gulf Coast and in Montana, Virginia, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.
Amtrak activates Positive Train Control, a safety technology designed to match train speed to track conditions for improved safety, on track between New York and Washington, D.C. This completes PTC installation on most Amtrak-owned infrastructure between Washington and Boston.
Amtrak is granted the second of two patents (the first was in 2012) for a multi-probe rail scanning system that allows for testing of subject track areas in a single pass. This results in more efficient track scanning and analysis to determine the presence, or absence of, defects in rail segments or joints.
Amtrak is granted a patent for an improved bridge plate to assist boarding and detraining passengers when there is a need to cross gaps between high platforms and trains.
Amtrak partners with the Winter Park Resort in Colorado to restore weekend rail service from Denver to the popular ski area via the new Winter Park Express. Snow lovers enjoy fast and safe service right to the mountain and skip the frustrations of stop-and-go traffic—and its associated carbon emissions.
To modernize critical infrastructure at New York Penn Station (the busiest station in North America), Amtrak begins a $7.6 million effort to install new track ties, turnouts, signals and lighting.
Amtrak announces the “Ready to Build” campaign of critical investments in tunnel, bridge and station projects. These upgrades support the necessity of modern passenger rail service to meet the economic development needs of the Northeast Corridor.
All Amtrak-owned or controlled track has Positive Train Control (PTC) in operation except approximately four miles of slow-speed track in the complex Chicago and Philadelphia terminal areas. Amtrak trains also operate with PTC on approximately 16,600 miles of host railroad-controlled track.
Amtrak invests $713 million in state-of-good-repair projects including the repair or replacement of 24,080 feet of catenary hardware, 79,985 concrete ties, 1,784 bridge ties and 283 miles of high-speed surfacing.
Amtrak files a patent application for its AWARE (Amtrak Waypoint Alert & Response for Conductors/Engineers) technology to improve situational awareness for train personnel to alert them to approaching speed restricted areas.
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