The Lake Shore Corridor - anchored by two global hubs of commerce and culture - is one of the America’s most vibrant regions, economically and culturally .
Roughly 30 million people live within 25 miles of the route’s 20 rail stations.
The route connects 171 city pair markets, connecting smaller cities and towns to Chicago, New York and each other.
More frequent trains, scheduled to allow for a productive business trip to each major city, are needed to create stronger economic ties.
We propose that Amtrak operate at least four daily roundtrips linking Chicago and New York to the many cities along the corridor.
It would be the quickest way to gain useful service to the biggest cities on the corridor.
Upgraded track, improved stations, and new, state-of-the-art trainsets would be needed.
This would be an interim step as high-speed rail is built.
Making this schedule a reality will require the following upgrades:
- Track and Signals: New passing sidings will need to be constructed, congestion points removed and signals enhanced.
- Stations: New platforms serving all mainline tracks and passenger safety improvements will need to be installed.
- High-Performance Trains: Modern trains that can accelerate and take turns faster while burning less fuel will need to be purchased.
To begin the process, Congress will need to direct Amtrak and the Federal Railroad Administration to:
- Develop a Feasibility Study detailing ridership and operating cost estimates.
- Work with CSX and Norfolk Southern to quantify the needed track and station investments.
- Create new incentives that will encourage the railroads to invest in faster and more reliable service.
Improvements to the Lakeshore Corridor, and corridors around the country, will require a federal program to expand and improve passenger trains across the country. The program should be structured like the Interstate and Defense Highway program approved by Congress in 1956.
You can help make that a reality by getting involved. The first step is to sign our petition.
The High Speed Rail Alliance (Midwest High Speed Rail Association) and the Rail Passengers Association (National Association of Railroad Passengers) did an initial feasiblity study to better understand this concept.