National passenger rail operator Amtrak and NJ Transit plan to jointly invest $31 million to improve railroad infrastructure along the Northeast Corridor in New Jersey and to conduct renewal work throughout spring and summer 2019 as part of their ongoing partnership.
According to a statement on May 14, that work will be conducted throughout New Jersey from the north end with projects at Newark Penn Station and Portal Bridge to the southern portion of the state with projects in Trenton.
[Above photo by Amtrak.]
“The bridges and rails that cross New Jersey serve as a lifeline for our state’s economy, and the Northeast Corridor is an indispensable branch,” said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (D). “I’m proud to stand beside Amtrak and NJ Transit as they work together to keep our infrastructure in good repair and serve as much-needed partners as we work to keep our region’s economy at full strength, ensuring that New Jersey moves in the right direction.”
“As I stated back in February, our partnership with Amtrak is critical to restoring and renewing the infrastructure along the Northeast Corridor, moving critical NJ Transit capital projects forward like the new Elizabeth Station and expanding our presence in Penn Station New York – all with an eye toward improving the customer experience,” noted Kevin Corbett, NJ Transit’s executive director. “Through our partnership with Amtrak, the contributions from NJ TRANSIT are being reinvested back into Amtrak’s infrastructure in the state, ensuring our customers continue to enjoy the safe and reliable service they deserve.”
The specific infrastructure improvements funded by this $31 million investment include:
- Newark Penn Station – Beginning May 20, Amtrak crews will begin a block tie replacement program on tracks 1 and 4 at Newark Penn Station. This includes the total replacement of 95 feet of ties on track 1 and 1,100 feet of ties on track 4. The condition of the existing wooden ties has deteriorated and will be replaced by concrete ties.
- Portal Bridge – Amtrak crews will perform total timber deck replacement on tracks 2 and 3 on Portal Bridge this summer. This work involves the renewal of more than 500 timbers per track, which will improve current bridge conditions until a new Portal North Bridge is constructed.
- Fair Interlocking in Trenton – Beginning August 5, Amtrak crews will begin extensive timber and switch replacement work at Fair Interlocking, located in Trenton. This includes the total switch replacement for six switches, upgrading all switch machines from air to electric, installing all new electric switch heaters and replacing more than 700 ties and 350 switch timbers.
- NJ High Speed Rail Program – Amtrak crews are currently working towards completing “catenary” upgrades to support improved reliability and capacity for Amtrak and NJ Transit trains and the upcoming next-generation Acelafleet which will enter service in 2021.