Northeast Corridor

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

  Every day nearly a million commuters travel on the Northeast Corridor -- the vast rail network between Washington, D.C. and Boston.

Many of those passengers cross over a small river in the coastal city of Norwalk, Connecticut. But the only way for a train to get across that river is on the Walk Bridge -- a 120-year-old “swing bridge.”

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

  The Federal Railroad Administration is working on plans to bring more high-speed rail to the Northeast Corridor. It’s the busiest stretch of passenger rail in the nation that spans from Washington, D.C. to Boston.

RIPR File Photo

Rhode Island’s Senate Finance Committee will meet Tuesday to discuss a proposed Amtrak route that would cut through southwestern Rhode Island. State senators will hear the Federal Railroad Administration’s recommendations for the route at the Rhode Island Statehouse.

John Bender / RIPR

Gov. Gina Raimondo's position statement came as a welcome surprise to dozens of protestors gathered at the Statehouse Wednesday.

Residents and lawmakers had crammed into the Statehouse rotunda to protest federal plans to move rail infrastructure in parts of Charlestown and Westerly. Then, Charlestown Town Councilor Virginia Lee told the crowd the governor agreed with them.

RIPR FILE PHOTO

The Town Council of Charlestown has called a special meeting Tuesday. Residents are hoping to find out more about a federal proposal to expand railroads running through their rural town.

file / RIPR

In a rare move, Amtrak has slowed down trains along the Northeast Corridor due to the heat. Amtrak trains travel at speeds reaching more than 100 mph, but on Thursday they’re going about 60mph.

Sensors along the track show rail temperatures at more than 120 degrees. And Amtrak spokesman Cliff Cole said those hot rails pose safety concerns. “They can under some rare circumstances expand. So the thought process behind any restriction in speed is to have the trains going at a lower than normal speed to make it less problematic in case there were an issue with the track,” said Cole.

Amtrak is spending the summer replacing old railroad ties along the Northeast Corridor. This replacement work is coming to the MBTA’s line in Rhode Island, and starting Friday it will affect six lines delivering passengers to Wickford Junction. This includes trains that will stop at Wickford, but not at TF Green airport, or trains that will end at the airport and not continue on to Wickford.

The disruptions will only be on Fridays starting this week and will end on Friday August 9th.