PLANS to rehabilitate Amtrak’s 167·3 km Keystone Corridor between Philadelphia and Harrisburg have been revived, three years after work on the route was cancelled because of Amtrak’s financial crisis.
Amtrak President & CEO David Gunn and Pennsylvania Governor Edward G Rendell announced on July 20 that $145·5m will be spent to reverse years of deferred maintenance. The cost is to be shared equally by the state and Amtrak, but Pennsylvania has pledged US$100m because Congress has not yet appropriated funding for Amtrak’s share.
The programme covers installation of new sleepers and 100 km of continuously welded rail, improvements to the signalling and traction power distribution system, station renovation, new communications equipment and bridge upgrading. Rather than buying new DMUs as planned by PennDoT, existing locomotives and coaches will be overhauled at a cost of $42m. Line speed will be raised to 177 km/h by the end of 2006, when the service is due to be increased from nine to 13 trains per day.