How GPRS Supports High-Speed Rail Projects

How GPRS Supports High-Speed Rail Projects

The United States’ high-speed rail network will expand exponentially in the coming years thanks to a slew of recently announced federal and state-funded projects.

In late 2023, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced that it awarded $8.2 billion in funding for 10 passenger rail projects across the country, along with corridor planning activities that it said ,“will impact every region nationwide.”

This investment is in addition to the $16.4 billion in funding that was announced in November 2023 and will fund 25 projects of “national significance along America’s busiest rail corridor,” according to a press release on the DOT’s website.

Projects announced through the Federal State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail (Fed-State National) Program are intended to advance two high-speed rail corridors and fund improvements to existing rail corridors for expanded service and performance. These projects include:

Helping to deliver a high-speed rail service in California’s Central Valley

  • Creating a new high-speed rail corridor between Las Vegas, Nevada, and southern California, serving an estimated 11 million passengers annually
  • Significantly upgrading existing conventional rail corridors to better connect Northern Virginia and the Southeast with the Northeast Corridor
  • Expanding and adding frequencies to the Pennsylvania Keystone Corridor between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh
  • Extending the Piedmont Corridor in North Carolina north, as part of a higher-speed connection between Raleigh and Richmond, Virginia
  • Investing in Chicago Union Station, as an initial step toward future improvements to the critical Midwest corridors hub
  • Improving service in Maine, Montana, and Alaska

“...With this funding, we’ll deliver America’s first high-speed rail on a route between South California and Las Vegas, complete major upgrades for riders in Virginia, North Carolina, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Maine, Montana, and Alaska, and announce a comprehensive plan that makes it easier to expand passenger rail lines in 44 states,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

The FRA also announced 69 corridor selections across 44 states through the Corridor Identification and Development (Corridor ID) Program, a new planning program funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

This inaugural round of selections includes upgrades to 15 existing rail routes, additions or extensions of service on 47 new routes, and advancements to 7 new high-speed rail projects.

“...We are taking full advantage of the resources we have to advance world-class passenger rail services nationwide,” said FRA Administrator Amit Bose. “Today’s announcement is another step forward as we advance transformative projects that will carry Americans for decades to come and provide them with convenient, climate-friendly alternatives to congested roads and airports. We’re thinking about the future too with comprehensive and systematic planning efforts to transform the U.S. intercity passenger rail network now and in the years to come.”

State of Our Rails

Our nation’s rail infrastructure fared relatively well in the American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) most recent American Infrastructure Report Card.  

While the country’s overall infrastructure score was an alarming C-, rail received a B.

There is, however, a catch to that score. As the ASCE explains in its report card, the U.S. freight network remains healthy thanks in large part to a funding system largely reliant on direct shipper fees. Passenger rail, which requires government investment, “has been plagued by a lack of federal support, leading to a current state of good repair backlog at $45.2 billion,” the ASCE wrote.

According to the ASCE, infrastructure-related issues caused 328,000 train-delay minutes along the Northeast Corridor – our nation’s busiest passenger rail corridor – in 2019 alone. That’s the equivalent of roughly 700 Northeast Regional train trips from Boston, Massachusetts, to Washington, D.C.

The ASCE offered several recommendations to improve the U.S.’s passenger rail infrastructure. These include:

  • Continue a financial and regulatory environment that supports private rail investment and innovative financing options for future investment.  
  • Encourage passenger rail infrastructure investment in high-population centers, and support continued investment for state-supported routes.
  • Continue to support rail investment in added capacity and expanded service in high-density markets to relieve system stress on other modes.
  • For future surface transportation reauthorizations, include and fund programs that reduce hazards at railway-highway crossings.
Three GPRS Project Managers conduct utility locating and mapping services on a construction site.
GPRS’ subsurface damage prevention, existing condition documentation, and construction & facilities project management services are designed to keep your project on time, your budget intact, and your people safe.

GPRS Supports Infrastructure Build Out

The success of any infrastructure project begins well before the shovels come out. Proper planning requires accurate as-builts and a comprehensive understanding of a project site’s above and below-ground infrastructure.

At GPRS, our subsurface damage prevention, existing condition documentation, and construction & facilities project management services are designed to keep your project on time, your budget intact, and your people safe.

We offer 99.8%+ accurate concrete scanning and utility locating, NASSCO-certified video (CCTV) pipe inspections, pinpoint accurate leak detection, and 2-4 mm accurate 3D laser scanning. And our in-house Mapping & Modeling Department can take the data collected on site by our SIM-certified Project Managers and visualize it in whatever medium you require, including digital twins and virtual walk-throughs.

To store all this data, GPRS created SiteMap® (patent pending), a first-of-its-kind, cloud-based infrastructure mapping software solution where you can securely store and share with your team the right information exactly when they need it.

Accessible 24/7 from your computer, laptop or mobile device, and able to support data portability for your existing GIS platform of choice, SiteMap® is the latest way in which GPRS is working to ensure you can plan, design, manage, dig, and build better.

GPRS’ SiteMap® team members are currently scheduling live, personal demos so you can see what this revolutionary platform can do for your next project.

Click below to schedule your live demo today!

From skyscrapers to sewer lines, GPRS Intelligently Visualizes The Built World® to keep your projects on time, on budget, and safe.

What can we help you visualize? Click below to schedule a service or request a quote today!

Frequently Asked Questions

How does GPRS ensure quality of service?

GPRS Project Managers undergo a rigorous training program to ensure you receive the most accurate and actionable infrastructure data when we perform a service at your site. This training regimen is underpinned by the Subsurface Investigation Methodology (SIM), the industry-leading training program for conducting utility locating, concrete imaging, video pipe inspection, and leak detection.

GPRS Project Managers must become SIM certified, which means completing at least 320 hours of field training and 80 hours of classroom training during which they tackle real-world scenarios in a safe and structured environment.

It’s because of SIM that GPRS has achieved and maintains a 99.8%+ accuracy rate for the over 500,000 concrete scanning and utility locating jobs we’ve completed to date.

Are GPRS Project Managers available to work at night or on the weekend?

Yes, our nationwide team of Project Managers can meet your scheduling needs. We are willing to work nights and weekends, in addition to regular working hours, to help you stay on time, on budget, and safe.