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Update on Amtrak. Ray Lang Chief, State Government Relations. Amtrak Today. America’s intercity provider 305 weekday trains 21,200 route-miles Serves 46 States, 3 Canadian provinces, and Washington, DC FY2013, system ridership record of 31.6 M passengers

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Update on amtrak

Update on Amtrak

Ray Lang

Chief, State Government Relations

Amtrak today
Amtrak Today

  • America’s intercity provider

    • 305 weekday trains

    • 21,200 route-miles

    • Serves 46 States, 3 Canadian provinces, and Washington, DC

  • FY2013, system ridership record of 31.6 M passengers

    • 10th such record in the past 11 years

    • $2.1 billion in ticket revenue

    • Amtrak recovers 89% of its operating costs

  • This is an exciting time to be at Amtrak!

    • A new strategy

    • A new organization

    • Some big challenges

Fy 2015 grant and legislative request in context
FY 2015 Grant and Legislative Request in Context

  • Request sized to approach historically funded level

    • Time and investment needed to size organization for growth

  • Proposal restructures grant to maximize available capital

    • More operating funding allows us to leverage revenues

    • Projected FY 15 capital level would rise to $1,129 ($278M above FY 14 appropriated level)

  • Cost recovery improvement is forecasted

Goal is to “drive a wedge” for a gradual expansion of our capital program

The strategic context
The Strategic Context

  • Amtrak has just released updated version of our corporate strategy

  • Three overarching strategic goals

    • Financial excellence

    • Customer Focus

    • Safety and Security

  • CUS represents an enormous potential revenue opportunity

    • Location

    • Unused space

    • Potential for improvement of existing space

The importance of cus
The importance of CUS

  • Crossroads of the system

    • 56 daily Amtrak trains

    • 350 weekday Metra trains

    • Every LD train west of the Appalachians, except the Coast Starlight

  • 4th largest Amtrak station on ridership basis

    • 3.2 million Amtrak

    • 31 million Metra

Any property with this much traffic represents a major development opportunity

Chicago union station master plan
Chicago Union Station Master Plan

  • Master planning process led by CDOT, in close cooperation with Amtrak and Metra

  • Identify & assess near-, medium-, and long-term station improvements to encourage and accommodate growth

  • Three City-led near-term improvements to be built in 2014-2015:

    • Central Loop Bus Rapid Transit (CLBRT)

    • Union Station Transit Center (USTC)

  • Opportunities for innovative and economical capacity expansion in the medium-term (5-10 year horizon)

Near term projects
Near Term Projects

  • Union Station Transit Center

  • Central Loop Bus Rapid Transit



Bird’s Eye View, facing northwest






New dedicated bus lanes

Bus routes feeding bus lanes

New protected bike lanes

New BRT stations

Amtrak’s Main Entrance







Innovative capacity expansion medium term
Innovative Capacity Expansion (medium term)

  • Reconfigure concourse

  • Widen commuter platforms and add direct street access

  • Repurpose mail platforms for passenger use

  • Create capability to through-route some intercity trains

Widened Commuter Platform

Unused Baggage Platform

Old steam tunnel passageway and basement, repurposed for passenger use

Create the capability to through route some intercity trains
Create the capability to through-route some intercity trains


Great Hall

Chicago’s intercity passenger train networkThrough tracks could allow passenger rail connections to O’Hare and points beyond

Old Mail Platforms Repurposed for Passenger Use

Improved Through Tracks