Amtrak proposes new and enhanced train routes in North Carolina

A new map released by Amtrak on Wednesday shows the potential growth of rail service across the country over the next 15 years, including new and enhanced routes in North Carolina.

Amtrak's 2023 vision takes into account the passing of President Joe Biden's proposed $2 trillion infrastructure plan.

If that plan passes, the passenger train company said it will be able to fix bridges, stations and tunnels that have outlived their initial design and construction.

The map is "the beginning of a very long conversation, but it's very hopeful," said Marc Magliari, a spokesperson for Amtrak Government Affairs and Corporate Communications.

"This is an aspirational map, not prescriptive," he said. "There are other ideas that others will have."

Click here to see the proposed map.

The proposed enhancements and expansion for North Carolina includes brand new routes to Wilmington and Asheville--as well as a new route from Raleigh into Richmond, Virginia.

Line improvements and enhancements would happen along the existing lines between Raleigh, Greensboro, Salisbury and Charlotte.

However, many Republicans have already begun criticizing Biden's plan. They are on the record being against the higher corporate taxes the plan proposes to pay for the infrastructure improvements.

Amtrak CEO Bill Flynn:
"President Biden's infrastructure plan is what this nation has been waiting for. Amtrak must rebuild and improve the Northeast Corridor and our National Network and expand our service to more of America. The NEC's many major tunnels and bridges - most of which are over a century old - must be replaced and upgraded to avoid devastating consequences for our transportation network and the country. In addition, Amtrak has a bold vision to bring energy-efficient, world-class intercity rail service to up to 160 new communities across the nation, as we also invest in our fleet and stations across the U.S. With this federal investment, Amtrak will create jobs and improve equity across cities, regions, and the entire country - and we are ready to deliver. America needs a rail network that offers frequent, reliable, sustainable and equitable train service. Now is our time, let's make rail the solution."
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