Archive for the ‘Amtrak stations’ Category

Springfield Station Work to Be Completed Soon

November 23, 2019

A platform construction project at Springfield Union Station in Massachusetts is expected to be completed soon, perhaps in time for the Thanksgiving and Christmas travel periods.

The Springfield Redevelopment Authority, which owns and manages the depot, said the last work to be completed includes installation of an elevator to take passengers to the boarding platforms and completion of work on a pedestrian tunnel to the platforms.

The $11 million state-funded project includes a new ADA compliant high-level platform.

Although the new Platform C has been ready to use for some time, but stairs and elevator have not.

Most of the work on the station was completed in June 2017, but Platform C and the rest of the $103 million refurbishment of the station was not.

An inspection found the original platform was too narrow to meet ADA standards and replacing it was a lengthy process involving coordination among the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, the railroads and the redevelopment authority.

Amtrak moved its ticket office last summer to the main concourse where it is near Greyhound, Peter Pan Bus Lines, a Subway sandwich shop, Dunkin’ Donuts, an auto rental counter and a convenience store.

In an unrelated development, Amtrak released ridership figures showing an increase in patronage on routes serving Springfield.

The New Haven-Springfield route — which operates in tandem with the Connecticut Department of Transportation’s CTrail Hartford Line — had a 26.5 percent increase from 286,477 in fiscal 2018 to 362,442 in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30.

Ridership of the Vermonter up 1.4 percent from 97,909 to 99,280.

The Lake Shore Limited saw patronage rise 5.9 percent from 337,882 to 357,682.

Just 2 BUILD Grants Will Benefit Amtrak

November 17, 2019

Only two of the rail projects that recently received federal BUILD grants that were awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation will directly benefit Amtrak service.

Both involve Amtrak stations in Illinois.

A $14 million grant was awarded for building an underpass at the station in Normal, Illinois, that also serves nearby Bloomington.

The federal funds will pay for design and construction of a pedestrian, bicyclist, and passenger underpass and a second boarding platform at the station.

Normal is served by Chicago-St. Louis Lincoln Service trains as well as the Chicago-San Antonio Texas Eagle.

The other grant was $14 million for design and construction of a new multi-modal transportation center in downtown Carbondale.

That station will replace a modular facility Amtrak opened in the 1980s.

Carbondale is the southern terminus of Amtrak’s Illini and Saluki as well as an intermediate stop for the City of New Orleans, which operates between Chicago and New Orleans.

USDOT handed out $900 million in BUILD grants for 55 transportation-related infrastructure projects in 35 states,

Half of the funding went to projects in rural areas of the country and the lion’s share ($603 million) went to highway projects.

Rail projects received $48.3 million or 5 percent of the total. Transit projects received $84.6 million or 10 percent of the total.

Florida received the largest amount of grant funding followed by North Carolina, Maine, Colorado, Texas, Arizona, Alabama, Missouri, Mississippi and Louisiana.

California received two grants while Michigan, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut received no grant funding.

BUILD Grant to be Used for New Carbondale Station

November 8, 2019

Federal grant funds will be used to create a new transportation center in Carbondale, Illinois, that will be used by Amtrak.

The $14 million grant will be used to pay for the design and construction of the new facility, as well as demolition of the existing Amtrak station.

The new facility, once opened, will also serve intercity bus routes.

The funding is being awarded from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Better Utilizing Investment to Leverage Development program.

Carbondale is the southern origination and termination point for the state-funded Illini and Saluki, which operate on Canadian National tracks to and from Chicago.

The city, which is home to Southern Illinois University, is also a station stop and crew change point for the Chicago-New Orleans City of New Orleans

The current Carbondale station opened on Oct. 8, 1981, and was built as part of a grade crossing reduction project.

Vt. City Wants More Info About Amtrak Expansion Plan

November 6, 2019

A plan to bring Amtrak to Burlington, Vermont, has hit a snag.

The city council is asking Vermont’s Agency of Transportation about plans to extend Amtrak service to Burlington after several residents expressed opposition to having the trains layover at Burlington Union Station.

Vermont officials are eyeing extending the state-funded Ethan Allen Express from its current northern terminus of Rutland, Vermont, to Burlington in 2021 or 2022.

The state transportation agency has proposed building a second track in front of the station between King and College streets that would be used to store the trainset overnight.

The 900-foot track has drawn objections from residents who contend storing the train at the station will bring additional noise and pollution, with some saying it would destroy their quality of life.

One person who spoke at a council meeting contended the location could become a railroad yard for host railroad Vermont Rail System.

He said once the siding is built “the railroad will do whatever it wants and we’ll be powerless to stop it.”

Some are also concerned that construction of the siding will displace an existing bike trail.

The council has expressed concern about the cost to replace it.

Ashland Platform to be Rebuilt

November 5, 2019

In a service advisory, Amtrak said the platforms and passenger loading areas will be raised.

However, a lift will still be required for passengers with mobility impairments to board trains.

Additional lighting is being added to the east side of the platform.

Construction will be performed in two phases, updating the southern portion first and then the northern portion.

The visitor center inside the train station will continue to be open and trains will continue to serve Ashland during construction.

Irvine Station Elevator Down for Repairs

October 30, 2019

The elevator to pedestrian overpass from the platform of the Amtrak station in Irvine, California, is out of service through Nov. 18.

In a service advisory Amtrak said the elevators are being repaired.

Passengers requiring an elevator may board at the Santa Ana or San Juan Capistrano stations.

Passengers will still be able to reach the Irvine pedestrian overpass via a stairway.

New York ClubAcela Lounge Closed for Refurbishment

October 26, 2019

The ClubAcela Lounge at New York Penn Station will be closed this weekend (Oct. 26 and 27) for refurbishment.

Temporary seating will be available in the Amtrak/New Jersey Transit ticketed waiting room, located on the main concourse near Tracks 13 and 14 East.

The ClubAcela will reopen on Oct. 28.


Hearing Set for Proposed NC Station Project

October 22, 2019

A second platform is planned by the North Carolina Department of Transportation for the Amtrak station in Kannapolis, North Carolina.

NCDOT will host a public meeting on Oct. 24 to gather opinions on the need for the platform at the station that is served by the state-supported Carolinian and Piedmont trains.

The existing single platform is located on one side of the double-track North Carolina Railroad/Norfolk Southern Main Line.

NCDOT has proposed building a pedestrian overpass from South Ridge Avenue and South Main Street to the platform.

In addition to the public meeting, NCDOT will accept comments via email and phone through Nov. 7.

All comments will be reviewed and considered for the final design, department officials said.

4 New Jersey Stations to be Upgraded

October 20, 2019

Amtrak and the State of New Jersey are upgrading four stations in the Northeast Corridor that are used by the national passenger carrier and New Jersey Transit.

The work will begin at the 116-year-old station in New Brunswick where the project will include renovation of the elevators and escalators, lighting, heating and air conditioning, extending the eastbound platform, rehabilitation of the exterior brick façade, and new paint.

Other work will be done at stations in Elizabeth, Trenton, and Princeton Junction.

Federal funding will pay for 90 percent of the work with the state picking up the remaining 10 percent of the costs.

BWI Station Reopens With New Facilities

October 13, 2019

A new Amtrak station building has opened at the BWI Thurgood Marshall Rail Station on the Northeast Corridor.

Amtrak and MARC passengers can now wait for their trains in a new waiting room that was built in a $4.7 million project that also included a ticket office and restroom facilities.

The new building was located to accommodate a planned addition of a fourth main track and new island platforms.

Passengers had been using a small structure built in the 1980s.