Amtrak is using $25 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to replace transformers and other electrical equipment at 40 substations that support the electrified trackage between New York and Washington, D.C.
"Amtrak is re-energizing the Northeast Corridor tracks to make certain there is a reliable and uninterrupted flow of electricity to keep trains and passengers on the move," said Amtrak President and CEO Joseph Boardman, noting last week that a transformer in operation since 1934 was being replaced at the railroad's substation in Landover, Md.
Boardman said that in 2002 Amtrak embarked on a long-term program to upgrade 82 outdated substations along the Northeast Corridor. The Recovery Act funding is accelerating the modernization program. For example, the work being done at the Landover substation last week was not slated to occur until 2013.
Transformers in service for as long as 75 years are being removed and replaced. In addition, technology designed to monitor key substation operations is being installed to identify and alert technicians to potential issues before major problems arise. The electrical and installation work is being performed by Amtrak employees.
Amtrak also received additional funding that it is using to reduce the backlog of infrastructure projects required to bring the Northeast Corridor closer to a state of good repair, such as the replacement and rehabilitation of several bridges, the installation of thousands of ties, and enhancing stations for better access by disabled persons. All Recovery Act-funded projects are to be completed by February 2011.