Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak eastern corridor trains’

New Platforms Open in Meriden

November 21, 2017

New platforms and a pedestrian bridge have opened at the Amtrak station in Meriden, Connecticut, but additional work still needs to be completed.

“Amtrak trains are now pulling up to the new platforms and the [pedestrian bridge] is open to customers,” said John Bernick, assistant rail administrator. “Both platforms opened up to allow for the completion of the track work and the removal of the temporary platform.”

Meriden is served by Northeast Regional Service trains between New Haven and Springfield, Massachusetts.

City Planner Robert Seale said sidewalk and landscaping work remains to be done in front of the station.

The pedestrian bridge will enable residents of the city’s east and west sides to more easily move between the two areas. Local officials said the tracks have long constituted a barrier.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony at the station is expected to be held soon.

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Roanoke Eyes Building Amtrak Station

November 20, 2017

Now that Amtrak is serving Roanoke, Virginia, the city is now talking about building a train station.

Roanoke City Manager Robert Cowell said a deal is not imminent, but the city council has meet four times in secret sessions to discuss transit facilities, including acquisition of property to build a new mass-transit passenger center that could serve Amtrak.

“It’s a pretty fairly complex set of questions that the council is really wrestling with, never mind how to pay for any of this,” Cowell said.

Roanoke city buses are currently served by the Campbell Court bus station, which belongs to Valley Metro, and is located 250 feet from the railroad tracks used by Amtrak.

The three-floor facility is largely vacant and described as antiquated.

One idea being floated in the city is to build a multi-modal facility near the tracks and repurpose Campbell Court into stores, offices and housing.

The city had budgeted $4.5 million for the intermodal station project, which is less than half of what a consultant estimated the facility would cost.

Valley Metro does not own any land adjacent to the railroad tracks used by Amtrak.

City council member David Trinkle said the council is looking at creating a public-private partnership. “There’s just no way that facility is going to be built without that,” he said.

The council has justified its closed door meetings to discuss the proposed intermodal facility as consideration of the purchase of “real property” for public use or the “disposition” of the 13 real estate parcels that make up Campbell Court, or both, according to a purpose statement for the meetings.

The council has cited a clause in Virginia’s open meetings law that allows for when meeting publicly would “adversely affect” its bargaining power or negotiating strategy.

The Roanoke Times reported that there are four obvious locations for a train and bus station near the tracks.

These properties immediately adjacent to the Amtrak boarding platform include a renovated buildings known as Warehouse Row, which are leased to tenants; the Roanoke Station Garage, a parking deck; the surface parking lot across from Campbell Court operated by Tennessee-based Premier Parking; and the corner of Jefferson Street and Norfolk Avenue, occupied by multiple commercial buildings with tenants.

2 New Amtrak Stations Placed in Service

November 8, 2017

New stations have gone into service on Amtrak routes in California and Conneticut.

The new station in California is located at Fairfield-Vacaville and is the 18th Capitol Corridor station.

The unstaffed facility has a Quick-Trak ticket machine and 139 regular parking spaces and five for people who are disabled. Outdoor seating along with eight bike rack spaces at the station. E-bike lockers are also available.

The station is about 5 miles from the Suisun City station, which will remain open.

Work on the station, which also included an overpass began in November 2014 and cost

$78 million.

In Connecticut, a new station opened in Wallingford on the route between New Haven, Connecticut, and Springfield, Massachusetts. That depot will eventually serve the, CTrail commuter line to Hartford, Connecticut when it begins in May 2018. CTrail will feature increased commuter trips between New Haven, Hartford and Springfield.

Amtrak Expands Holiday Capacity in Pennsylvania

November 2, 2017

Amtrak plans to add capacity to its Pennsylvania routes during the Thanksgiving travel period.

In a news release, the carrier said additional cars will be added to trains operating in the New York-Philadelphia-Harrisburg-Pittsburgh corridor.

This includes Keystone Service between New York and Harrisburg, and the Pennsylvanian between New York and Pittsburgh.

Reservations will be required on all trains between Nov. 20 and 26.

Amtrak Begins Service in Roanoke

November 1, 2017

Amtrak returned to Roanoke, Virginia, on Tuesday when more than 150 passengers aboard Northeast Regional No. 176 departed at 6:19 a.m.

Many of the riders traveled to Lynchburg, Virginia, and returned by bus.

It was the first scheduled Amtrak departure from the hometown of the former Norfolk & Western Railway in 38 years.

A welcome ceremony was held on Monday afternoon and featured tours of a five-car special that included Amtrak business car Beech Grove.

The Amtrak station is located on Norfolk Avenue in the city’s downtown. The Commonwealth of Virginia pays for the service between Roanoke and Washington.

Roanoke’s last Amtrak service was the Hilltopper, which operated between Washington and Catlettsburg, Kentucky. It made its last runs on Sept. 30, 1979.

In Roanoke, Amtrak equipment will overnight at a facility with a small crew office along the ex-N&W Roanoke to Winston-Salem branch, close to the former Virginian Railway depot.

SmartWay Connector buses will shuttle passengers between the Roanoke station and Salem and Blacksburg.

Downeaster Expansion Being Studied by Amtrak

November 1, 2017

The Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority is eyeing an expansion of Amtrak’s Downeaster that will include two or three round trips to Rockland, Maine, on Saturdays and Sundays.

The service would be seasonal and seek to divert traffic from congested U.S. Route 1.

Downeaster trains currently operate daily between Boston and Portland, Maine, with some continuing to Brunswick, Maine.

Executive Director Patricia Quinn said Amtrak is reviewing the route to see what repairs and upgrades need to be to stations and track.

The 56-mile route to be used is owned by the state and was once part of the Maine Central. Freight operations are provided by the Central Maine & Quebec handles freight operations.

The line was rebuilt in the early 2000s and used by Maine Eastern tourist trains until 2015.

Amtrak Adds NEC Trains for Thanksgiving

October 31, 2017

Amtrak is adding trains and capacity to its Northeast Corridor service for the Thanksgiving holiday travel period.

The carrier said will operate every available passenger railcar to handle the surge in patronage.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said its Acela Express and Northeast Regional services will operate with extended schedules with additional frequencies and added capacity during the week of Thanksgiving. Regular Amtrak booking procedures apply.

Last year, Amtrak carried 760,755 passenger throughout its national network during the Thanksgiving travel period. Similar business is expected this year.

On the other coast, Amtrak said passengers riding Pacific Surfliner trains in California between Wednesday, Nov. 22 and Sunday, Nov. 26, will need reservations

During that period, a ticket will only be valid on the train for which a passenger holds a reservation.

Reservations will be not required for our monthly and ten-ride ticket holders.

Additionally, both Rail2Rail programs (Coaster and Metrolink) will observe a blackout period for the same dates, Nov. 22 through Nov. 26.

Budget Plans Saves Pennsylvanian Funding

October 30, 2017

A budget plan agreed to by Pennsylvanian lawmakers will keep intact funding for Amtrak’s Pittsburgh-New York Pennsylvanian.

That funding had been in danger after some lawmakers proposed transferring money from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation budget to cover a $2 billion budget deficit.

The budget plan still must be approved by Gov. Tom Wolf. It seeks additional revenue by expanding casinos in the state.

The proposal would allow for $200 million in the current fiscal year and more funding later by allowing the development of 10 new “mini-casinos” around the state.

The Pennsylvanian is funded through the Multimodal Transportation and Public Transportation Trust Funds. If that funding had been removed, the Pennsylvanian would have been at risk of being discontinued.

Downeaster May be Extended to Rockland

October 26, 2017

The Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority is starting a pilot program for Amtrak’s Downeaster service that may see it extended to Rockland, Maine, next summer.

The announcement was made during a meeting of the authority board meeting. Officials said the Downeaster extension would go northeastward from the current northern terminus at Brunswick to Rockland, making stops at Bath, Wiscasset, and Newcastle.

The extension would operate only on weekends during the summer.

It would use former Maine Central tracks now owned by the State of Maine. Central Maine & Quebec handles freight operations.

The 56-mile Rockland branch was rebuilt in the early 2000s and until 2015, the Maine Eastern operated seasonal excursions on the line.

The authority, which helps operate the Downeaster between Boston and Brunswick via Portland, said it will have additional information about the pilot program in the coming weeks.

Cruising Through the Pennsylvania Hills

October 25, 2017

Amtrak’s eastbound Pennsylvania is six minutes off the advertised as it rolls on Track No. 2 of the Pittsburgh Line of Norfolk Southern through Summerhill, Pennsylvania.

The train would lose time en route, arriving at New York Penn Station a half-hour late. The delays in this area of the route appeared to have been due to track work being performed by NS as it gets ready to cut in new signals and positive train control.

Behind lead P42DC No. 160 is an all Amfleet consist that includes coaches and a cafe car.