Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak Keystone Service’

PennDOT Seeks Proposals for TOD on Amtrak’s Keystone Corridor

July 18, 2017

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will seek proposals for transit-oriented development at one or more Amtrak stations on the carrier’s Keystone Corridor between Philadelphia and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Locations to be considered include Harrisburg, Elizabethtown, Mount Joy, Lancaster, Parkesburg and Downingtown

A PennDOT news release said that transit oriented development opportunities could involve soliciting a private partner to provide operation and maintenance services; allowing a private partner to provide parking upgrades either through surface lot expansion or with the construction of parking garage; and if deemed feasible, the ability to provide both residential or commercial development.

One project has already been approved by the state for the station in Middletown.

PennDOT will review proposals to consider market soundness to determine whether to proceed on an individual station basis or whether to bundle more than one station into an agreement.


Amtrak Names Trains That Will Use Grand Central

July 6, 2017

Amtrak has announced which Empire Service trains will be using Grand Central Terminal once the reconstruction of tracks at New York’s Penn Station gets underway.

Three weekday trains originating at Albany-Rensselaer, New York, will use Grand Central and be turned on the the station’s loop track.

The trains set to diverge at Spuyten Duyvil and head for Grand Central are No. 230, departing Albany-Rensselaer at 5:05 a.m.; No. 236, departing at 8:20 a.m.; and No. 242, whose departure time has been moved up to 2:40 p.m. from 3:10 p.m.)

Northbound trains will depart Grand Central at 11:15 a.m. (No. 233, weekdays only), 2:15 p.m. (No. 235), and 5:48 p.m. (No. 239).

The New York-Montreal Adirondack will continue to use Penn Station but will be combined with the Toronto-bound Maple Leaf as far as Albany. The Adirondack will arrive earlier at intermediate stops to Montreal.

The Friday departure time of the Ethan Allen Express will be moved up to the Saturday-Thursday 3:15 p.m. scheduled departure time.

Amtrak plans to cancel six New York-Washington Northeast Regional trains and the New York-Philadelphia portion of three Keystone round-trips.

Another Keystone Service will terminate at Newark, New Jersey, while the New York-New Orleans Crescent will originate and terminate in Washington

Travel between all Northeast Corridor stops will be allowed on the New York-Miami Silver Star and Silver Meteor, and aboard the Chicago-New York Cardinal.

Those trains ordinarily stop between New York and Washington to pick up and discharge passengers traveling to and from destinations south and west of Washington.

Unaffected by the changes are Empire Service trains operating to and from Niagara Falls, New York, and the Chicago-New York Lake Shore Limited.

The schedule changes are effective July 10. The work at Penn Station will continue through Sept. 1.

Third-rail shoes have been modified from over-running contact to Metro-North’s under-running configuration on at least four P32-DM locomotives to power the detouring Amtrak trains.

Only tracks 1-9 and 11 of Penn Station’s 21 tracks will be accessible from the west end during the construction work.

LSL Not Affected by New York Penn Station Changes

May 31, 2017

The Chicago-New York Lake Shore Limited will not be affected by schedule changes that Amtrak is imposing this summer at New York Penn Station during a track renewal project.

The passenger carrier said on Tuesday that it will change its schedules between July 10 and Sept. 1 to reflect the reduced station capacity as workers undertake track and switch work.

Amtrak President Charles “Wick” Moorman said Amtrak would be affected the most by the schedule changes, which also will affect New Jersey Transit and Long Island Railroad trains.

One long-distance train, the New York-New Orleans Crescent, will terminate in Washington during the construction period. Passengers bound for points north of Washington will need to change trains in Washington.

Northeast Regional service will see three round trip trains New York and Washington canceled. New York-Boston service will operate at current levels.

Keystone Service will terminate in Philadelphia with one roundtrip terminating in Newark, New Jersey.  Service between Philadelphia and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, will be at current levels.

There will be no schedule changes for Acela Express service. Amtrak said it would announce changes to Empire Service later.

Amtrak said it decided to speed up previously planned projects to improve conditions and service reliability at the station following two derailments earlier this year.

“While we regret that this work requires some reduction in train service and disruption to passengers over the summer months, we believe it will ultimately be worth the investment in terms of increased reliability of passenger rail travel,” said Moorman in a news release.


PennDot Might Sponsor Buses Before Amtrak Service Expands from Harrisburg to Pittsburgh

May 23, 2017

As the Pennsylvania Senate considers approving legislation designed to increase Amtrak service to Pittsburgh, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is eyeing sponsoring bus service until Amtrak service can be expanded.

The state funds the Pittsburgh-New York Pennsylvanian and is considering funding additional Amtrak service between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

The Senate Transportation Committee recent voted unanimously in favor of a nine-month review study into adding two more passenger trains between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg. The full Senate is expected to vote on the study proposal by the end of June.

The study would be conducted within nine months by the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee.

The resolution also calls for looking at the prospect of adding service between Pittsburgh and Cleveland.

A number of steps would need to be taken before the service could become a reality, including making improvements to the Norfolk Southern tracks that the trains would use and negotiating agreements with Amtrak and NS. The route to be used is a busy NS freight line.

Western Pennsylvania interests have long noted that since 2000, the state has invested $400 million to increase passenger service between Harrisburg and Philadelphia from six trains to 14.

PennDOT spokesman Rich Kirkpatrick said the agency welcomes the review of what it would take to increase passenger service but that earlier studies have shown it would cost $3.75 million to $6 million to add one more passenger train, plus capital improvements estimated at $100 million in 2005.

Kirkpatrick said that in other regions of the country bus service has been paired with Amtrak service.

He said a dedicated bus could connect western Pennsylvania cities with Amtrak’s Keystone Service in Harrisburg to New York and Philadelphia.

Reservations Needed for Easter Travel

April 13, 2017

Reservations are being required for travel on Amtrak’s Keystone Service and Pennsylvanian during the Easter holiday travel period.

The requirement is in effect between April 13 and 17. In a service advisory, Amtrak said monthly and 10-ride tickets will be accepted during the period.

Amtrak expects an increase number of passengers traveling during the holiday period.

Winter Storm Leads Amtrak to Shorten Route of Capitol Limited, Cancel Boston LSL Section

March 13, 2017

A severe winter storm that has prompted Amtrak to cancel and reduce service along the Northeast Corridor will also affect some trains operating to the Atlantic Seaboard from outside the region.

The Capitol Limited will not operate on Tuesday (March 14) between Pittsburgh and Washington.

The Lake Shore Limited will not operate between Boston and Albany/Rensselaer, New York.

Amtrak said there will be no Acela Express service between New York and Boston, and there will be modified Acela Express service between New York and Washington.

Northeast Regional service will operate on a modified schedule between Boston and Washington with the routes of some trains shortened and other trains being canceled. This will affect some trains that operate beyond Washington to points in Virginia.

Also operating on modified schedules will be Empire Service, Downeaster Service and Keystone Service trains.

Station Rehabilitation Begins in Paoli

March 2, 2017

A rehabilitation project at the Paoli, Pennsylvania, Amtrak station got underway this week that will bring the station into compliance with ADA standards.

Amtrak 4The $36 million initiative is also expected to improve safety and provide operational flexibility at the station as well as provide the first step into transforming it into an intermodal facility.

Amtrak has contracted with Neshaminy Constructors to do the work, which includes a new center island, high level platform, new elevators and ramps, a pedestrian overpass, parking lot improvements, ADA improvements to the existing station building and upgrades in rail infrastructure.

Train operations will not change during the work and the number of available parking spaces will not change.

Creation of the Paoli Intermodal Transportation Center will begin once the Amtrak station work has been completed.

The current station was built in 1953 by the Pennsylvania Railroad. In fiscal year 2016 Amtrak handled 201,572 passengers in Paoli while SEPTA had 740,000.

Paoli is served by Amtrak’s New York-Pittsburgh Pennsylvanian and the Keystone Service trains.

Timeline Set for Building New Middltown Station

February 1, 2017

Construction of a new $24.4 million Amtrak station in Middletown, Pennsylvania, is projected to begin in late 2018 according to a timeline released by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

Amtrak 4PennDOT said that Keystone Connections, a consortium of six partners, has been formed to develop parking and businesses at the station site as well as to construct a pedestrian bridge over Route 230 to the Penn State Harrisburg campus and to extend Emaus Street to the station.

PennDOT said it expects to receive a detailed proposal from Keystone later this year.

The station is a joint project involving PennDot, Amtrak and Norfolk Southern.

The timeline said that site preparation is already underway and expected to be completed by May at a cost of $2.6 million.

NS will then begin track work later this year. That work is expected to cost $4.3 million. Amtrak will start its own track work in late 2018 when station construction gets underway. The Amtrak track work will cost $4.3 million.

Middletown is served by Amtrak’s Keystone Corridor and the New York-Pittsburgh Pennsylvanian.

Pennsylvania College Launches Pilot Program to Promote Travel on Amtrak by its Students

November 12, 2016

A Pennsylvania College has begun a pilot program to entice its students to travel on Amtrak.

PennsylvaniaElizabethtown College created a partnership with to market travel on the New York-Philadelphia Keystone Service trains and the New York-Pittsburgh Pennsylvanian.

The marketing is being done by Sacunas Integrated Communications.

Elizabethtown is first college to participate in the pilot program and Sacunas is watching it to determine if PaTripsbyTrain could be expanded to other colleges.

PaTripsbyTrain offers a ticket discount to students, called a companion fair, in which students purchase one round-trip ticket and receive a 40 percent discount on the second ticket.

“We tried to package it so it’s really beneficial to your money,” Senior Project Manager for Sacunas Jamie Judy said.

Officials said the program seeks to publicize that Amtrak trains are a travel option.

“When you’re in Central Pennsylvania the Amtrak isn’t first on your mind,” Judy said.

School officials also are hoping that the program will encourage students at the rural college to explore more urbanized areas.

“The emphasis is on taking adventures and exploring the world around us,” said Director of Community Relations and College Events at the College Caroline Lalvani.

“The program highlights many of the wonderful attractions we have in this area and gives students an opportunity to travel to more urban areas while enjoying their time at Elizabethtown College.”

PaTripsbyTrain highlights culinary experiences, sightseeing and tours, sports and festivals, family adventures and music and nightlife in cities served by Amtrak trains in Pennsylvania.

Pa. Amtrak Trains Will Require Reservations During Thanksgiving, Christmas Travel Periods

November 9, 2016

Amtrak passengers riding Keystone Service trains and the New York-Pittsburgh Pennsylvanian during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday travel periods will need to make reservations before boarding their train.

Amtrak logoThe affected dates are Nov. 22-27 and Dec. 21-28. The requirement also applies to New York-Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, trains as well as Philadelphia-Harrisburg service.

Reservations will not be required for monthly and 10-ride ticket holders during both holiday travel periods.

On Thanksgiving Day, Keystone Service trains will operate on a Saturday schedule.