Amtrak Awards Construction Contract for Penn Coach Yard in Philadelphia

Written by Jennifer McLawhorn, Managing Editor
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Amtrak Acela on the NEC
David C. Lester

PHILADELPHIA – Herzog Contracting Corporation will design and construct a new Heavy Maintenance Facility in Philadelphia.

Amtrak has awarded a construction contract for the first of six major maintenance facilities. This will help to “modernize maintenance practices and ensure a successful transition from an aging fleet to modern, state-of-the art trains,” according to the press release. 

Herzog Contracting Corporation will design and construct the Heavy Maintenance Facility at Amtrak’s Penn Coach Yard. Located in Philadelphia, this will service many of Amtrak’s Acela and Northeast Regional trains that operate up and down the Northeast Corridor (NEC) that provides more than 12 million annual trips.

Courtesy of Amtrak

Amtrak’s facility investments will prepare sites around the country for new trains. Amtrak states that “six rail yards (five in the Northeast and one in the Pacific Northwest) will be upgraded with new facilities to support maintenance activities, routine inspections, equipment repairs and minor service and cleaning needs.” Additionally, several layover facilities located along existing routes (outside the NEC) will be renovated or built. 

The projects will be funded by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This will allow Amtrak “to plan for the future and continue transforming passenger rail in America.” These major infrastructure initiatives will create jobs and drive economic development. Currently, new Acela testing is underway and Amtrak Airo manufacturing is increasing. As well, Amtrak says “procurement has formally begun to replace the current Long Distance fleet.”

The projects are part of Amtrak’s plan to invest $5.5 billion for FY2024 through its annual capital program, “which will modernize trains, enhance stations, and upgrade critical infrastructure like century-old tunnels and bridges.”

“We look forward to breaking ground in 2024 on this critical infrastructure investment along the NEC, America’s busiest passenger corridor. This new facility will speed up train maintenance and reduce turnaround times, providing Amtrak customers with more reliable and frequent service,” said Amtrak Executive Vice President, Capital Delivery, Laura Mason.

FRA Administrator Amit Bose said, “President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is investing in nearly every aspect of passenger rail, including advancing projects of national significance, improving accessibility at stations, funding workforce development, and upgrading facilities like Amtrak’s Penn Coach Yard in Philadelphia. The Federal Railroad Administration looks forward to working with Amtrak and others to deliver these benefits and ensure Americans have access to the safe, modern, and convenient passenger rail service they deserve.”

Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) said, “When Pennsylvanians can move quickly and easily across the state for work, study, or travel, our Commonwealth thrives. Improving rail service means more jobs, more economic opportunities, and more time spent with family for urban and rural communities alike. Today’s announcement shows just how big the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is delivering for Pennsylvania.”

Senator John Fetterman (D-PA) applauds “this award for the construction of a new heavy maintenance facility in Philadelphia. This new facility will service the critical Northeast Corridor, which provides millions up and down the East Coast with critical transit access. This is just another example of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law money helping to modernize our transit infrastructure, create jobs, and support the economic development of our local communities.”

“Passenger rail is a crucial part of Pennsylvania’s transportation network. PennDOT is proud to support passenger rail through our state investments, and we’re pleased to see that these improvements are progressing,” said PennDOT Secretary Mike Carroll.

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