Amtrak Begins Harrisburg Line Track Renewal Project in Pennsylvania

Amtrak has begun a track maintenance project to renew the Harrisburg Line in Pennsylvania.

This project will replace 1950s-era rail infrastructure to deliver greater service reliability and ride quality. It will involve a 122 million USD investment to improve the tracks between Lancaster and Harrisburg.

The Philadelphia to Harrisburg Main Line is owned and operated by Amtrak
The Philadelphia to Harrisburg Main Line is owned and operated by Amtrak

Work on this undertaking was initially expected to take two years. However, Amtrak is now accelerating the project for completion in nearly half this time.

To extend the long-term benefits of the project, Amtrak has also now committed to replacing the existing wood ties with concrete ones, as these have an expected lifespan of 60 years compared to just 25 years.

Amtrak Executive Vice President of Capital Delivery Laura Mason said:

“Amtrak is making historic infrastructure investments through projects like this one, which will replace obsolete 1950s-era rail infrastructure which is at the end of its useful life. We’re taking a fresh approach and expediting this important project with a combination of single and full track outages that will improve work efficiencies and reduce the duration of customer impacts.”

Specifically, work on this project will include:

  •  Installing 43 track miles of rail
  • Installing 113,000 concrete ties, each weighing approximately 900 pounds
  • Cleaning and refreshing 226,500 feet of gravel ballast to support the track structure and improve drainage

The concrete ties used for this project are manufactured in Bear, Del., while the ballast for the track structure will be purchased from a quarry in Birdsboro, Pa.

Work on this undertaking began on 15 March and will require a series of track outages from 8 April – 21 November.

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