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4/29/2010


Rail News: Amtrak
Amtrak to invest $1 billion in capital program



Amtrak is launching a $1 billion construction program to fund capital projects designed to rebuild, upgrade and modernize its tracks, bridges, stations and other infrastructure along the Northeast Corridor and across the country.  

Amtrak plans to spend $420 million from its fiscal-year 2010 capital program and $590 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to fund the infrastructure projects, which are slated to begin this year.

Along the Northeast Corridor, Amtrak will perform work on a number of bridge projects, including the start of a multi-year project to replace the movable Niantic River Bridge in East Lyme, Conn., which has been in operation since 1907. The railroad also plans to complete a multi-year project in New York along the Hell Gate Line (New York Penn Station to New Rochelle, N.Y.) to replace and modernize overhead catenary wires and other electrical equipment.

Also in the Northeast, Amtrak plans to continue renovating its Wilmington, Del. station, replace about 198,000 ties and extend the northbound platform at the Baltimore-Washington International Airport station to accommodate more cars. In addition, Amtrak plans to move forward with upgrading and expanding its use of positive train control on track it owns along the Northeast Corridor and in Michigan.

In other parts of the country, the railroad plans to upgrade its equipment inspection and maintenance facilities in Los Angeles, Seattle and Hialeah, Fla., near Miami. Tracks will be repaired at Chicago and New Orleans terminals and in Chicago, electric heaters will be installed at track switches to ensure reliability of winter operations. In Sanford, Fla., Amtrak plans to continue expanding the southern terminus of the Auto Train.

Meanwhile, the nation’s intercity passenger railroad has reached tentative agreements with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, the Joint Council of Carmen, Coach Cleaner and Helpers, and the Transportation Communications Union. The contracts would expire on Jan. 1, 2015.

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