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Thursday, January 17, 2013    

Amtrak, California high-speed authority to announce plans for next-generation trainsets; Amtrak to expand Lancaster Station project

This morning, Amtrak and the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) officials are scheduled to hold a news conference in Washington, D.C., to announce a joint effort to pursue next-generation high-speed trainsets.

At the event, Amtrak President and Chief Executive Officer Joseph Boardman, and CHSRA Chairman Dan Richard were expected to be joined by U.S. Deputy Transportation Secretary John Porcari. Amtrak and authority officials have been talking about how their respective programs can work together to advance high-speed rail in the United States, Amtrak officials said in a prepared statement.

Amtrak recently announced plans to issue in early 2013 a request for information (RFI) to begin the process to acquire new high-speed trainsets that will provide more frequent high-speed service on the Northeast Corridor. The CHSRA will join in the RFI process as it seeks its own equipment for its plan to build a statewide high-speed rail system, authority officials said.

Meanwhile, Amtrak officials announced plans to move ahead with more upgrades to Lancaster Station in Lancaster, Pa., including major work to rehabilitate the main waiting room.

Other station improvements planned for this year include repairing and repainting the foyer and hallway near restrooms, and refinishing all remaining doors and doorways.

"Since the start of the project a year ago, Amtrak and our partners have made significant progress and passengers will see more improvements under way this year," said Marilyn Jamison, Amtrak's senior director of major projects and partnerships.

Lancaster Station is the third-busiest Amtrak station in Pennsylvania. The facility is part of Keystone service that operates between Harrisburg, Philadelphia and New York City, and the Pennsylvanian service that operates between Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Philadelphia and New York City.

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