Amtrak Outlines Plans for Stimulus Funding

Rebuilding railcars for use throughout the Amtrak system, upgrading stations, replacing and renovating some existing stations and bridges, constructing and improving maintenance facilities, and investing in security measures are some of the capital projects Amtrak submitted to the Federal Railroad Administration to be funded by $1.3 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

The investment package is broken down into an account for railroad and station capital projects funded at $845 million and an account for security and life safety projects funded at $450 million.

Amtrak shops in Beech Grove, Ind., will rebuild 20 out-of-service Superliner and one Viewliner railcar ($19.3 million) and 15 locomotives ($13 million). The Amtrak shops in Bear, Del., will rebuild 60 out-of-service Amfleet railcars ($58.5 million).

More than 200 stations in 40 states will receive upgrades and improve accessibility for disabled persons ($40 million). Also, the existing Auto Train passenger station in Sanford, Fla. ($10 million) will be replaced, and the Wilmington, Del., station will receive more than $20 million for renovations.

Major investments will be made to Amtrak bridges as well as track and maintenance facilities, including replacement of the Niantic River Bridge in Connecticut ($100 million), renewal of 10 other bridges in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and New York ($65 million), construction of a maintenance facility in Los Angeles ($25 million) and Seattle ($35 million), and improvements to Chicago facilities ($47.5 million) and the Miami (Hialeah) maintenance facility ($25 million).

The $450 million Security and Safety fund will be used for investments in security measures that reduce infrastructure vulnerabilities and enhance incident management at Amtrak facilities nationwide, including stations, bridges, tunnels, maintenance facilities and other buildings.

Enhancements to safety installations include projects such as fire detection and suppression systems and improved emergency egress from buildings and tunnels. Projects in this category also involve expansion of Positive Train Control safety systems in the Northeast Corridor ($50 million) and in Michigan ($10 million).