Amtrak CEO Wick Moorman: We’d love to see Trump fund New York infrastructure

Amtrak CEO: Industry committed to positive train control

In terms of transportation infrastructure, New York City could use a face-lift, Amtrak CEO Wick Moorman told CNBC on Wednesday.

Moorman, former CEO of Norfolk Southern, told "Squawk on the Street" that he hopes President-elect Donald Trump's call to improve the country's infrastructure will include helping his home city with some much-needed reconstruction.

"We'd love to see him fund the so-called Gateway Project," Moorman said. "It's the new tunnels under the Hudson, which are desperately needed. It's the rehabilitation of Penn Station, which is desperately needed. It's replacing some 100-year-old bridges. And these are things that the country needs and this region needs, and that would be our No. 1 priority."

Amtrak has already pledged more than $300 million to the project, also know as the Gateway Program, which is still in its early stages but aims to improve transit in New York and the functionality of the rail service's Northeast Corridor line.

For now, Amtrak is looking forward to confirmed improvements including the replacement of old Acela trains with faster, higher-capacity counterparts.

"I think that we could see substantial growth, double-digit growth on the corridor, certainly, with new equipment, particularly the fast trains," Moorman said. "I think our growth in the quarter has a big, big upside for us."

The Acela replacements are scheduled to hit the tracks in 2021.

One infrastructure improvement New York may not see for a while is the development of high-speed "bullet" trains like the ones in Japan, which can reach speeds of close to 400 mph.

"Most of these routes were laid out when 40 miles per hour was an aspirational speed," Mormon said of New York's rail system. To reach train speeds like Japan's, the Northeast Corridor would require a complete reinvention.

"What restricts us is geometry. Too much curvature, things like that. So to really get those high-speed trains like you have in Europe, Asia, you have to build a new right of way," he said.

Moorman said that as a passenger-carrying railroad that has inevitable difficulty turning a profit, Amtrak is exploring new ways to make money that would not require raising ticket prices.

"We are looking a lot at elasticity of demand versus price now to see what we can do to try to bring in more revenue," the CEO said.