The new Avelia Liberty High Speed trains should add at least 30% more capacity to that service, and probably a little more than that to revenue. Better revenue will be thanks to new and shiny cars, with some real upgrades, which will allow fare increases; costs will be reduced due to much lighter weight and better reliability.
But most of that additional revenue is pledged to back the RIFF loan that's paying for the new rolling stock. Amtrak will benefit from the political and marketing value of reporting increasing ridership and revenues (and probably better metrics like a teeny bit higher average speed, and better On Time Performance).
But the new trains will not help much to get money for the overall system. Well, wait a minute. If the Avelias generate enuff success above the rails, then the NEC can take on more of the allocated overhead and lighten the burden on other trains a wee bit.
Meanwhile, investing any extra operating profits from the NEC trains into the dilapidated NEC infrastructure will help in ways often overlooked. The new tunnels at Baltimore are projected to save 2 1/2 minutes for the Avelias; they will save 2 1/2 minutes for the Regional and LD trains on the NEC as well. Add tiny time savings from better tracks and station facilities at BWI and Newark, Delaware. The new Susquehanna bridge will shave at least a minute, maybe two. Four-tracking the main line thru all of Maryland will be a biggie. So all trains on the NEC could go 8 or 10 minutes faster south of the Delaware (plus something in PA, NJ, and NYC, of course).
The Regionals and the Amtrak Virginia trains, as well as the Palmetto, Silver Meteor, Silver Star, Carolinian, Crescent, and Cardinal would all benefit from run times faster by even a few minutes.
Add in time savings coming D.C.-Richmond and then Richmond-Raleigh down the road to see some real impact on the Star, the Carolinian, and the phantom Day Train to Atlanta, NYC-D.C-Richmond-Raleigh-Greensboro-Charlotte-Greenville, S.C.-ATL.
(Obviously I believe the Acelas/Avelias and the Regional trains on the NEC, along with the other corridor routes, and the LD trains have common interests that far outweigh any rivalries.)
One a quibble: "... during Gunn's time, when half the Amfleet fleet was parked in Wilmington and Bear due to lack of funds ..."
Why blame Gunn for any lack of funds, what power did he have? More correct to say, "... during Bush's time ... due to lack of funds ..."
Edited by WoodyinNYC, 30 June 2017 - 02:04 PM.