FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 30, 2021
(Washington, D.C.) – In 2016, the Coalition for the Northeast Corridor (CNEC) was established to advocate for federal funding to serve as a catalyst for innovation and infrastructure investments across the region. In our efforts to accomplish this mission, members of the CNEC prioritized advocating for the Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair (SOGR) – a federally authorized grant program for rail projects across the Northeast Corridor (NEC). Specifically, the CNEC called for increased funding and the expansion of eligibility requirements under the program to ensure effective implementation and standards.
In the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework (BIF) release on July 28, the framework details historic investments in rail infrastructure to eliminate the Amtrak maintenance backlog, modernize the Northeast Corridor, and bring modern rail service to areas outside the northeast and mid-Atlantic. Within these totals, $24 billion of funding will be allocated to the federal-state partnership grants for Northeast Corridor modernization, a program that CNEC members have consistently sought funding for.
The release of BIF coupled with the rollout of initiatives such as the Northeast Corridor Commission's CONNECT NEC 2035 (C35), a 15-year plan designed to make improvements to NEC rail service for existing and new riders on commuter and Amtrak rail systems, demonstrates clear recognition of the NEC as an invaluable asset poised to stimulate the economy and transform the state of rail infrastructure in the United States.
"After countless congressional engagements and continued advocacy efforts, we are pleased to see the inclusion of the funding for the State of Good Repair Program," said Michael Friedberg, executive director of the CNEC. "As members of the CNEC, we remained consistent in our efforts and continued to work with lawmakers on a proposal that we know will serve as the best use of federal dollars for rail infrastructure in the NEC and across the nation. These historic investments will ensure the longevity of the NEC through reduced congestion, the establishment of new jobs, and increased mobility for passengers."
“At Siemens, we know that modern passenger rail transportation systems have the potential to positively transform communities so that they are more sustainable, connected, and resilient. Bringing the critical rail infrastructure of the NEC to a state of good repair is the first step towards building such a system and ensuring it will support another century of economic development across the region,” said Harrison Wadsworth IV, Secretary of CNEC and a founding member of the coalition. “We are grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with our partners across industry, academia, and government to call attention to this critical need over the past five years as a coalition and are thrilled that our leaders have prioritized this important funding in the bipartisan infrastructure deal.”
CNEC Advocacy Efforts for State of Good Repair
(2020) Combined COVID Relief & FY 2021 Omnibus Package Expands Eligibility of SOGR Projects
(2020) CNEC Secures Language Expanding Eligibility for SOGR in FY 21 Senate THUD Appropriation Bill
(2019) Coalition Building - Keeping passenger rail and the nation’s economy, moving along the Northeast Corridor
(2018) CNEC Calls for Full Funding for the Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair Grant Program
(2017) Coalition for the Northeast Corridor Applauds House Appropriations Subcommittee for NEC Investment
(2016) New Coalition Launched to Promote Rail Infrastructure Investment Across NEC