Amtrak promises improvements in 2013

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Among the 2013 plans for Amtrak is the completion of a bridge replacement the company says will enable it to run faster trains in the Northeast Corridor. Other plans include receipt of the first of 70 new electric locomotives and 130 new rails cars, and the addition of a new round-trip route between New York and Washington, D.C., on the company's Acela high-speed trains.

Amtrak said it was also complete the installation of automatic Positive Train Control (PTC) systems that will enable all its trains to be controlled electronically in the Northeast Corridor and Pennsylvania's Keystone corridor.

Amtrak pointed out that the developments follow a year that saw it set a new ridership record.

Lawmakers are scheduled to consider a new funding bill for rail programs soon because the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act (PRIIA), which contains Amtrak's funding, is set to expire this year.