Washington Union Station Capacity Increase
By Kimberly Woods, Amtrak
Editor’s note: Diversity-owned businesses in the Mid-Atlantic region, particularly those DBEs certified in Washington, DC, are invited to bid on Washington Union Station construction projects as they proceed during the coming months and years. Like many other publicly funded endeavors, these Amtrak projects require a certain level of participation by small Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs). Some contracts will soon be awarded. Prime contractors, including Skanska and others, are seeking DBE subcontractor and supplier participation. Interested DBEs should contact the prime bidders before the bid due date. You may scroll down to see the advertisement posted below for specific bid opportunities with Skanska, which is preparing a bid package for the rehabilitation of Track 22.
WASHINGTON, DC—Amtrak is launching the first in a series of improvements at Washington Union Station through a major construction project that will increase rail capacity at the second busiest terminal in the United States. The project will be among other improvements to upgrade and enhance the customer experience at the historic transportation hub.
Amtrak received a $19 million grant from the Federal Railroad Administration. The grant will fund a portion of the construction project that will increase track capacity for revenue trains for Amtrak and Virginia Railway Express (VRE).
Track 22, located at the lower level of Union Station, currently serves as a storage track for equipment with no access for customers. The construction project will involve installing new track, rebuilding the platform, and rehabbing and restoring the historic columns. A walkway will be built to provide customer access to the platform via a new elevator, escalator, and stairs to the station.
“Washington Union Station is integral to the national rail network. This grant will allow Amtrak to construct a new revenue track at Union Station and increase capacity to meet the growing demand for rail service,” said David Handera, Amtrak Vice President of Stations, Facilities, Properties, and Accessibility.
Amtrak and Virginia Railway Express revenue service to Track 22 is anticipated to begin in 2022.
In other Northeast Corridor projects, work continues to upgrade the infrastructure to increase track capacity, improve the ride quality, and offer greater reliability that will benefit Acela and other Amtrak customers as well as commuter passengers along the Northeast Corridor (NEC) from Washington, DC, to Boston.
Crews are upgrading thirty-one miles of track between Washington Union and Baltimore Penn stations, which will enable Amtrak to operate at higher speeds. The enhancements will benefit the full length of the Northeast Corridor and include realigning track and curves and undercutting and installing new rail.
Approximately 2,200 Amtrak, commuter and freight trains operate on the Washington-Boston route each day. In Fiscal Year 2018, 18.3 million trips were made by Amtrak customers on the NEC.
“The NEC is North America’s a premier passenger rail corridor and improving the infrastructure is essential to maximizing performance for all train services,” President and CEO Richard Anderson said. “The improvements will offer Amtrak and commuter customers a smoother and more reliable ride.”
As the popularity of rail travel soars, Amtrak and its partners are challenged to ensure the NEC can meet the demand for new capacity on this critical infrastructure asset, portions of which date back a century, and continue to deliver the safe, reliable and convenient service passengers expect from America’s Railroad®.
The infrastructure work is underway in preparation for the introduction of the new, next-generation Acela Express fleet, scheduled to begin entering service in 2021.
Additionally, this project also complements other ongoing Amtrak improvements at New York Penn Station; the opening of the new Moynihan Train Hall in New York; and further development of stations in Chicago, Washington, DC, Baltimore and Philadelphia.
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