High-speed rail track & station improvements will enhance service for Amtrak riders

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, RI – U.S. Senator Jack Reed, Governor Gina M. Raimondo, and
officials from the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) and Amtrak
joined together at the newly renovated Kingston Station to celebrate the completion
of station upgrades and high-speed rail track improvements.

The $47 million project included a number of improvements to the historic station,
including a new third track at Kingston Station, as well as construction of two
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant platforms to provide level boarding
at the station. The layout of the third track will enable the regional Amtrak
trains stopping at Kingston Station to come off the main line, while high-speed
Acela trains safely bypass them. The new ADA compliant platforms will provide easy
access to trains for passengers with disabilities, families with children, and the
elderly, while reducing boarding times for more efficient service.

Senator Reed, the Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on
Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD), led
efforts to secure $26.2 million in federal High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Grant
funding for the project. After Florida Governor Rick Scott turned down nearly $2.5
billion in federal high-speed rail funding in 2011, Senator Reed, along with the
other members of the delegation, worked with then-U.S. Secretary of Transportation
Ray LaHood to reallocate a portion of those funds to help Rhode Island promote
mobility along the Northeast Corridor.

“This project improves efficiency, capacity, and safety here at Kingston, as well as
high-speed rail operations up and down the Northeast Corridor. The new track and
high level platform will enhance accessibility for people with disabilities and help
reduce train delays. It is also good for long-term transit planning in Rhode
Island,” said Senator Reed. “Passenger rail is critical to Rhode Island’s economy
and our future. I am pleased we were able to redirect unused federal transportation
funds to Rhode Island to improve our infrastructure and increase the speed and
on-time performance of passenger rail service throughout the Northeast Corridor. I
will continue working to secure funding and policies that support a modern,
integrated public transportation system in Rhode Island.”

“First-class businesses go to places with first-class infrastructure,” Governor Gina
M. Raimondo said. “The new and improved Kingston Station will help riders get where
they’re going faster. Thank you and congratulations to Senator Reed and the whole
RIDOT team.”

Amtrak contributed an additional $19.2 million in general capital funds to the
project and RIDOT expended $1.8 million to complete the work.

“Transit is such a vital component of our transportation system in Rhode Island, and
the improvements made at the station to enhance both the passenger experience and
the operational safety and efficiency of the rail line will go a long way toward
increasing the use of train travel,” RIDOT Director Peter Alviti Jr. said.

“For more than 40 years, Amtrak has been providing intercity train service to
Kingston Station – connecting residents and visitors throughout the state of Rhode
Island and beyond,” said Tom Moritz, Amtrak Assistant Vice President of
Infrastructure Access and Investment. “Through this valued partnership with the
State, we can now ensure more reliable and accessible service for our customers and
transform the way they travel.”

Kingston Station is served by nine daily round-trip Amtrak Northeast Regional
trains, adding up to 161,000 annual trips at the station. The station is also
served by RIPTA buses and is the terminus of a bike path, making it a true
multimodal hub. Additionally, more than 2,295,224 Amtrak riders passed through
Rhode Island in 2016.