Amtrak Details ‘Stimulus’ Projects

WASHINGTON — Amtrak has released a list of capital projects to be funded by $1.3 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

Submitted to the Federal Railroad Administration, the highlights of the list include railcar and locomotive restoration to augment the current fleet, projects to bring stations into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), facility improvements, track, bridge and signal replacements and upgrades.

“These Amtrak projects fulfill all of the objectives of the ARRA, and more. They are ‘shovel-ready;’ they will improve the efficiency and accessibility of Amtrak trains and facilities; and we estimate they will result in the retention or creation of approximately 6,000 jobs,” said Amtrak President and CEO Joseph H. Boardman. “It is extremely encouraging to see the direction our country is taking to improve our national mobility, reduce our dependence on imported energy and make a stronger, healthier passenger rail system.”

The investment package is broken down into two separate accounts: one for railroad and station capital projects funded at $845 million and one for security and life safety projects, funded at $450 million. For a detailed list of projects, click on “Inside Amtrak,” then “Other Reports.” Further information on how contractors and suppliers can contact the railroad about bidding on those projects that contain outsourcing elements will be available on Amtrak.com soon.

Following are examples — not a comprehensive list — of some of the projects to be performed with ARRA funding.

Railcars and Locomotives

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) and the Amtrak shops in Bear, Del, will rebuild 60 out-of-service Amfleet railcars ($58.5 million). This equipment can be used throughout the Amtrak system.

ADA Compliance

More than 200 stations in 40 states will receive needed upgrades and improve accessibility for disabled persons ($40 million).

Other Station Projects

Replacement of the existing Auto Train passenger station in Sanford, Fla., ($10 million) will be carried out, and the Wilmington, Del., station will receive more than $20 million for renovation.

Amtrak-owned Bridges, Track and Maintenance Facilities

This includes major investments such as the Niantic River Bridge replacement in Connecticut ($100 million), the 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), improvements to the Chicago facilities ($47.5 million) and the Miami (Hialeah) maintenance facility ($25 million).

Security and Life Safety Investments

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 Michigan ($10 million).