Amtrak soon will be receiving the first portion of $1.3 billion for capital improvements from the economic-stimulus package. Vice-President Joe Biden, a long-time Amtrak rider and supporter, told a March 13 press conference at Washington, D.C.'s Union Station, that the $1.3 billion "will nearly double Amtrak's investment program over the next two years."
Amtrak President Joseph Boardman says the railroad expects to reach a final grant agreement with the Federal Railroad Administration on the stimulus funds with during the week of March 16. "Once we've got that, we're ready to move very quickly," Boardman says. "We know many of these projects are ready to go right now, so we're going to be moving it right out the door." Work will begin in "just a matter of weeks," he says.