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Rail News: Amtrak

Amtrak to expand capacity, upgrade facilities with stimulus funding


Last week, Vice President Joe Biden announced Amtrak will receive $1.3 billion in grant funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

The funds will enable Amtrak to add capacity, boost operational reliability, and improve passenger amenities and accessibility at stations.

Projects to be funded with stimulus dollars include: replacing the 102-year-old Niantic River Bridge, a project that's been delayed more than 20 years because of a lack of capital funding ($105 million); rehabilitating and returning to service 68 passenger cars ($82 million); repairing facilities nationwide, such as roof replacements, plumbing repairs, and heating and air conditioning improvements ($105 million); restoring the Wilmington, Del., station ($21 million); rehabbing the Lamokin frequency converters in Chester, Pa. ($63 million); constructing a new station for the Auto Train in Sanford, Fla. ($10.5 million); and installing positive train control between Porter, Ind., and Kalamazoo, Mich., and New York City and Washington, D.C. ($60 million).

"For too long, we haven't made the investments we needed to make Amtrak as safe, as reliable, and as secure as it can be," said Biden during a ceremony at Washington, D.C.'s Union Station. "The funds in the recovery act for Amtrak will help create jobs and, at the same time, repair and update critical needs of our nation's infrastructure."

The economic recovery funds will be managed through an agreement between the Federal Railroad Administration and Amtrak, which is consistent with ARRA transparency and accountability requirements.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/16/2009