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Amtrak and New Jersey Transit yesterday announced a joint $31 million investment to improve railroad infrastructure along the Northeast Corridor (NEC) in New Jersey and conduct renewal work throughout spring and summer.
As part of the investment, Amtrak crews on May 20 will begin a block tie replacement program at Newark Penn Station. Crews will replace 95 feet of ties on Track 1 and 1,100 feet of ties on Track 4. The existing wooden have deteriorated and will be replaced by concrete ties, according to a press release from New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy's office.
Amtrak crews also will replace timber decks on Tracks 2 and 3 on the Portal Bridge this summer. More than 500 timbers per track will be replaced to improve the bridge's condition until a new Portal North Bridge is constructed.
On Aug. 5, Amtrak crews will begin replacing timbers and switches at Fair Interlocking in Trenton, New Jersey. The work involves replacing six switches, upgrading all switch machines from air to electric, installing new electric switch heaters and replacing more than 700 ties and 350 switch timbers.
“Together, we are improving our shared infrastructure, the safety of the railroad, and our customer experience through projects of every size, from basic track work up to the Gateway Program,” said Amtrak Chairman Tony Coscia.
Amtrak crews also are upgrading catenary to improve reliability and capacity for existing Amtrak and NJ Transit trains, as well as the future Acela high-speed train fleet, which will enter service in 2021.
Those updates include equipment removal, replacement and new installation of constant tension catenary for all four tracks between County in New Brunswick and Midway Interlocking in South Brunswick; between Midway and CP Clark in West Windsor; and between CP Clark and Ham in Trenton.