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Nov. 6 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden traveled to Delaware on Monday to announce an "historic investment" of $16 billion in rail improvements along the country's heaviest-used passenger rail lines, known as the Northeast Corridor, as part of his ongoing infrastructure plan.
"We're announcing an historic investment in America's railroads. I've been talking about this for a long time. I know, but finally, finally we're getting it done. More than $16 billion, 16 with a 'B' billion dollars here in the northeast part, 25 different projects in all to build the Northeast Corridor from Boston to Washington," Biden announced Monday in New Castle, at Amtrak Bear Maintenance Shops.
"The Northeast Corridor, running from Boston to Washington, D.C., is the most heavily traveled rail corridor in the United States, supporting 800,000 trips per day in a region that represents 20% of U.S. gross domestic product," a statement from the White House added.
"If the Northeast Corridor shut down for a single day, it would cost the economy $100 million in lost productivity. Despite its importance, the Corridor hasn't seen major investment in generations."
Biden was well known for riding Amtrak to and from Congress while serving as a U.S. senator in Delaware.
"As Senator, I rode the train back and forth between Washington and Wilmington. Virtually every day for 36 years when I got elected and then as vice president as well, Amtrak wasn't just a way to get home. It was family," Biden said, as he called for long overdue upgrades to the route.
"Today's historic investment in the Northeast Corridor brings America one step closer to 21st Century rail system," the president wrote Monday in a post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, which also showed video of Biden as a young senator commuting by train.
Monday's rail funding includes $3.8 billion for the Gateway Hudson River Tunnel in New York and New Jersey, $4.7 billion for the Frederick Douglass Tunnel and $2.1 billion for the Susquehanna River Bridge in Maryland, $1.6 billion for Penn Station Access in New York and $827 million for the Connecticut River Bridge in Connecticut.
The White House said many of the tracks, tunnels and bridges that make up the Northeast Corridor were built with investments from the 1830s and need to be rebuilt.
"Combined with Amtrak's nearly $9 billion fleet replacement program, which will replace over 1,000 locomotives and coaches with state-of-the-art and Made-in-America equipment, these investments will ensure that train service is more convenient and climate-friendly than either driving or flying," the White House added.
"The funding will also contribute to more than 100,000 good-paying union jobs in construction," Biden said, adding that the investment will make U.S. rail "world-class" again.
"How can you be a leading country in the world and have a second-rate infrastructure?" Biden asked. "It's not possible."