State gets $40 million more for rail project
Share with others:
The U.S. Department of Transportation today awarded Pennsylvania $40 million for additional improvements to passenger rail service between Harrisburg and Philadelphia.
The money, part of $2.4 billion that was returned to the federal government when Florida's governor canceled a high-speed rail project, will pay for improving a switch and signal network in Harrisburg.
PennDOT spokeswoman Erin Waters said the upgrade would shave another 7 to 9 minutes from the travel time between Harrisburg and Philadelphia.
The state had applied for $248 million to upgrade five switch and signal groupings between the two cities. "It's obviously good news," Ms. Waters said of today's announcement. "We recognize there were tons of applicants for this funding."
A series of earlier improvements to the Harrisburg-Philadelphia line led to record ridership of 1.27 million in the 2009-10 state fiscal year, with the current fiscal year's ridership expected to hit 1.5 million, she said.
No construction timetable has been established for the Pennsylvania project.
The biggest share of the funding announced by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will go to Amtrak's Northeast Corridor, which will get $795 million to upgrade some of its busiest sections. Mr. LaHood said the improvements will increase train speeds from the current 135 mph to 160 mph, improve on-time performance and add seats.
First Published May 9, 2011 11:24 am