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Amtrak promises high-speed and better business to get back on track

Posting in Government

In a recent review of Amtrak's business model, the firm says it will improve its business model and that "high-speed rail will be coming."

On Wednesday, a hearing which discussed the operation and management of Amtrak was hosted by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Amtrak CEO Joseph Boardman told the committee that "while there are still plenty of challenges ahead, the basics for success are definitely here and Amtrak is doing well."

The firm, over 40 years old, has faced recent criticism over its performance, and so a five-year strategy to improve management of the company, reduce costs and boost revenue is coming into place. The new plan is expected to be in full swing by the end of next year.

According to The Day, the government-subsidized firm was not only under scrutiny over management practices, but the issue of high-speed rail frequently reached the committee's lips.

When Amtrak was questioned over high-speed rail technology, Boardman said that "this high-speed rail will be coming.. because that is the most efficient way to move people in such a dense corridor as the Northeast."

Amtrak currently receives approximately $1.4 billion per year in government subsidies to cover operating costs. The committee will meet with Amtrak again on Dec. 6 and 13 to discuss high-speed rail technology.

After the Long Island Rail Road system took extensive damage from Hurricane Sandy, Boardman has updated the firm's repair prognosis, and hopes that full service will be back in operation before Christmas.

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— By on November 29, 2012, 12:48 AM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure