January 31, 2011

Feds award $750K to Penn. for high-speed rail study

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has provided a $750,000 High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) Program grant to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to study the expansion of Amtrak’s Keystone Corridor from Harrisburg to Pittsburgh.

Passenger trains on the Keystone Corridor currently operate at 110 mph between New York, Philadelphia and Harrisburg, and have seen ridership grow from 891,764 passengers in 2006 to 1,296,838 last year.

The study will evaluate the feasibility of electrifying track between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg, construction of dedicated tracks for passenger trains, and major signal and switch improvements. The study will also evaluate installation of concrete ties, procurement of new passenger cars and alternative route alignments.

The grant is from FRA’s fiscal year 2009 Intercity Passenger Rail appropriation with a 50 percent state match requirement from Pennsylvania’s Department of Transportation.

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