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The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) awarded the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) $15.9 million through the Federal-State Partnership for the State of Good Repair Grant program to improve signals on the Amtrak-owned Harrisburg Line, also known as the Keystone Line.
SEPTA was awarded the grant in partnership with Amtrak and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT).
The track is owned, maintained and dispatched by Amtrak, and the line serves Amtrak’s Pennsylvanian and Keystone Service intercity rail services in partnership with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Between William H. Gray III 30th Street Station and Thorndale, the Harrisburg Line also hosts SEPTA’s Paoli-Thorndale Line. The Paoli-Thorndale Line has the highest ridership on SEPTA's regional rail system, Amtrak officials said in a press release.
The FRA grant funding will support upgrades to train control signal systems on the line between Paoli and Overbrook. New equipment will enable greater operational flexibility and higher operating speeds and will help reduce delays for Amtrak and SEPTA passengers, Amtrak officials said.
“This project is a critical step forward in a renewed effort between Amtrak, PennDOT, and SEPTA to optimize the Harrisburg Line for all of our passengers and will generate benefits worth four times the project cost,” said Ray Lang, Amtrak's vice president of state-supported services.
Amtrak and Pennsylvania have partnered on the electrification of the Harrisburg Line. With previous funding through the federal state-of-good-repair program, PennDOT, Amtrak and SEPTA also are restoring a third track and upgrading signals on a 10-mile segment of the Harrisburg Line west of Paoli.