America’s freight railroads want passenger railroads to succeed. They know that more passenger railroading means more transportation options, more interconnected communities, greater transportation efficiency, and the potential for enhanced economic development and redevelopment. Railroads — both freight and passenger — are the smart, sensible way to help solve America’s 21st-century transportation challenges.
Today, freight railroads are successful partners with passenger railroads all across the country. Approximately 97 percent of Amtrak’s 22,000-mile system consists of tracks owned and maintained by freight railroads. In addition, hundreds of millions of commuter trips each year occur on commuter rail systems that operate at least partially over tracks or right-of-way owned by freight railroads.
There’s no question that expanding passenger rail will bring significant challenges. Striking the right balance while growing both passenger and freight rail is key to ensuring that railroads keep America’s economic engine running.
America’s economic health and global competitiveness depends critically on having a healthy freight rail system. That’s why expanding passenger rail on corridors owned by freight railroads will require a partnership between freight and passenger railroads that protects the business needs and responsibilities of both parties.
Freight railroads are committed to working with government officials, passenger rail stakeholders, and others to ensure that the future development of passenger rail, including high speed rail, will yield a winning result for all parties involved.