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Vice President Joe Biden and Deputy Secretary of Transportation Victor Mendez Announce New Loan to Amtrak

The White House

Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release

August 26, 2016

Washington, DC – Today, at the Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Railroad Station in Wilmington, Delaware, Vice President Joe Biden and Deputy Secretary of Transportation Victor Mendez announced a $2.45 billion loan to Amtrak by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Build America Bureau through its Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) Program – marking the largest single loan in the Department of Transportation’s history.

With this loan, Amtrak will purchase 28 new trainsets for the Acela service on the Northeast Corridor – with approximately 40 percent more seats than currently offered on Acela trainsets – providing customers traveling between Washington, DC, through New York, NY and into Boston, MA an increase in the capacity and frequency of the Acela Service.

The loan will also be used to provide necessary track upgrades between the New Carrolton and Baltimore stations, and perform station and platform improvements at four of the busiest stations in the Northeast Corridor –  Moynihan Station, Washington Union Station, Baltimore Penn Station, and New Carrolton Station. These upgrades will improve the safety of the Northeast Corridor mainline, and improve passenger experience and reliability.

“This loan is a key step to providing investments needed to help keep high speed trains moving throughout the region, and to help all commuters in the Northeast Corridor,” Vice President Biden said. “We need these kinds of investments to keep this region – and our whole country – moving, and to create new jobs.”

“There's no better way to say 'we're open for business' than closing the largest loan in DOT history,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said.  “America needs to go big on infrastructure, and we're not just talking the talk.  The Build America Bureau has put the pieces in place to get big, transformative projects done, and this is just the first big marker.  Our Federal Railroad Administration team also deserves a big share of the credit."

With the newly announced $2.45 billion loan to Amtrak, total DOT RRIF program loans total approximately $5.1 billion

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