• All things Harrisburg (Keystone) Line

  • Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.
Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

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  by Arborwayfan
 
The bill and a summary will appear here https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-con ... -bill/8389 at some point. Not ready yet.

I can't tell from the representative's press release whether he wants the state to own the infrastructure and have Amtrak operate over it, like Mass, or whether he also wants the state to own/lease the equipment and contract for/run the service. If he wants the state to run the service, I can't tell if he wants Amtrak to give equipment to Penna or if he thinks Penna can uses the money it's currently paying Amtrak or get other federal capital money to buy its own equipment. Once we have those details this bill will be easier to understand and discuss.

For now, I have one question for the board: Are the tracks and infrastructure an asset for Amtrak, or a liability? In some situations Amtrak insists that states or localities provide stations, tracks, or both; could Amtrak actually be better off without the various maintenance costs? I kind of suspect that even though some might disagree with how much Amtrak says the operation (or any operation subject to that part of PRIAA) costs, and Amtrak might make a slight above-the-rail profit on this route and some other state-supported routes, instead of breaking even, that Amtrak is not actually making enough to maintain the line and certainly not enough to maintain the line AND send money from Penna to pay for operations in other states.
  by rcthompson04
 
Pensyfan19 wrote: Mon Oct 19, 2020 4:14 pm Here's the official article regarding the bill from Smucker's website.

https://smucker.house.gov/media/press-r ... wealth-act
WASHINGTON, DC —Today, Rep. Lloyd Smucker (PA-11) is announcing the introduction of H.R. 8389, the Keystone Line for the Commonwealth Act. The legislation would require Amtrak to transfer ownership of the Keystone East Line and certain stations along that line to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for management by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT).

“As a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I have consistently been disappointed by the National Railroad Passenger Corporation’s (Amtrak) responsiveness and management of our local rail line. I firmly believe that the closer a government entity is to those it serves, the more accountable it must be. That is certainly the case with Amtrak’s operation of the Keystone East Line. Renovation and repair projects are consistently delayed and over budget and revenue generated on the line is sent out of the Commonwealth to other states along the Northeast Corridor,” said Rep. Lloyd Smucker.

“Additionally, at a recent committee hearing, Amtrak’s president was unable to answer whether all stations on the line are ADA compliant. Not a promising sign. My legislation to reorganize the rail line under PennDOT’s management will fix these ever-present issues all the while improving service and giving riders the type of commuter service they’ve been seeking,” said Smucker.
The funny thing is that PennDOT could easily fix the ADA issues on the line if it paid for more stations. The stations that have been upgraded have often been upgraded with PennDOT state or federal funds. Maybe he should call Harrisburg and ask them to spend more.

I am not sure what isn’t ADA compliant or in being upgraded other than Parkesburg, Coatesville and Downingtown. Middletown and Ardmore are being rebuilt. Coatesville and Downingtown are in planning stages of being upgraded.

Smucker’s ADA comments are baffling. This almost sounds like someone he knows has a beef with Amtrak.
  by STrRedWolf
 
rcthompson04 wrote: Mon Oct 19, 2020 7:36 pm The funny thing is that PennDOT could easily fix the ADA issues on the line if it paid for more stations. The stations that have been upgraded have often been upgraded with PennDOT state or federal funds. Maybe he should call Harrisburg and ask them to spend more.

I am not sure what isn’t ADA compliant or in being upgraded other than Parkesburg, Coatesville and Downingtown. Middletown and Ardmore are being rebuilt. Coatesville and Downingtown are in planning stages of being upgraded.

Smucker’s ADA comments are baffling. This almost sounds like someone he knows has a beef with Amtrak.
Stations on the Keystone, with what level they have per perusal via Google Maps Sat View:
  • Ardmore -- LOW
  • Paoli -- HIGH
  • Exton -- LOW w/high block
  • Downingtown -- LOW
  • Coatesville -- LOW
  • Parkesburg -- LOW
  • Lancaster -- HIGH
  • Mount Joy -- LOW (Rebuild)
  • Elizabethtown -- HIGH
  • Middletown -- LOW (and one side only!!!)
  • Harrisburg -- HIGH
I can see rebuilding everything low-block to high-block, but I got two items that really grind the ol' gears:

Exton: WHY OH WHY does the Pennsylvanian stop there on the eastbound-to-Philly/New York?!? The only sense it has stopping there is a mid-hour fill-in for the Keystone, but even then it would make sense to stop there on the west bound as well.

Middletown: Not there. It's a freakin' wide spot in an out-of-the-way corner of town. The parking lot is 72 spots and it looks like it could use more... plus you got an airport nearby (Harrisburg International, aka HIA). Do a deal with Marriot for the Fairfield Inn & Suites' parking lot, build a garage, a station over the tracks, done.
  by CNJGeep
 
Exton is a high level and has been for some time now.

Construction is underway at Ardmore.
  by rcthompson04
 
STrRedWolf wrote: Mon Oct 19, 2020 8:34 pm
rcthompson04 wrote: Mon Oct 19, 2020 7:36 pm The funny thing is that PennDOT could easily fix the ADA issues on the line if it paid for more stations. The stations that have been upgraded have often been upgraded with PennDOT state or federal funds. Maybe he should call Harrisburg and ask them to spend more.

I am not sure what isn’t ADA compliant or in being upgraded other than Parkesburg, Coatesville and Downingtown. Middletown and Ardmore are being rebuilt. Coatesville and Downingtown are in planning stages of being upgraded.

Smucker’s ADA comments are baffling. This almost sounds like someone he knows has a beef with Amtrak.
Stations on the Keystone, with what level they have per perusal via Google Maps Sat View:
  • Ardmore -- LOW
  • Paoli -- HIGH
  • Exton -- LOW w/high block
  • Downingtown -- LOW
  • Coatesville -- LOW
  • Parkesburg -- LOW
  • Lancaster -- HIGH
  • Mount Joy -- LOW (Rebuild)
  • Elizabethtown -- HIGH
  • Middletown -- LOW (and one side only!!!)
  • Harrisburg -- HIGH
I can see rebuilding everything low-block to high-block, but I got two items that really grind the ol' gears:

Exton: WHY OH WHY does the Pennsylvanian stop there on the eastbound-to-Philly/New York?!? The only sense it has stopping there is a mid-hour fill-in for the Keystone, but even then it would make sense to stop there on the west bound as well.

Middletown: Not there. It's a freakin' wide spot in an out-of-the-way corner of town. The parking lot is 72 spots and it looks like it could use more... plus you got an airport nearby (Harrisburg International, aka HIA). Do a deal with Marriot for the Fairfield Inn & Suites' parking lot, build a garage, a station over the tracks, done.
Middletown and Ardmore are being rebuilt and Exton was completed this summer. Mount Joy last year. We are talking about 3 stations. Smucker needs to do his research about the ADA compliance that is public source. If he is concerned about these three he would die over SEPTA.
  by R36 Combine Coach
 
STrRedWolf wrote: Mon Oct 19, 2020 8:34 pm Middletown: Not there. It's a freakin' wide spot in an out-of-the-way corner of town...plus you got
an airport nearby (Harrisburg International, aka HIA).
MDT, not HIA.
rcthompson04 wrote: Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:56 pm Smucker needs to do his research about the ADA compliance that is public source. If he is
concerned about these three he would die over SEPTA.
Especially when many SEPTA stations have nothing more than a single door mini high ramp.
  by STrRedWolf
 
R36 Combine Coach wrote: Mon Oct 19, 2020 10:54 pm
STrRedWolf wrote: Mon Oct 19, 2020 8:34 pm Middletown: Not there. It's a freakin' wide spot in an out-of-the-way corner of town...plus you got
an airport nearby (Harrisburg International, aka HIA).
MDT, not HIA.
Harrisburg International Airport's code is HIA. Amtrak does not have that code. I would move the station from Middletown to the airport and serve it like BWI.
  by Suburban Station
 
the middletown station is moving to the edge of town but still walkable to the center since a new street is being cut through. it is adjacent to the airport parking lot and the original plan called for the existing airport shuttle to make the train station stop. additionally mount joy is a high level platform and quite an attractive station I might add, Amtrak and PennDOT did good work there. http://www.planthekeystone.com/Pages/Mo ... oject.aspx
  by Pensyfan19
 
STrRedWolf wrote: Mon Oct 19, 2020 8:34 pm I can see rebuilding everything low-block to high-block, but I got two items that really grind the ol' gears:

Exton: WHY OH WHY does the Pennsylvanian stop there on the eastbound-to-Philly/New York?!? The only sense it has stopping there is a mid-hour fill-in for the Keystone, but even then it would make sense to stop there on the west bound as well.

Middletown: Not there. It's a freakin' wide spot in an out-of-the-way corner of town. The parking lot is 72 spots and it looks like it could use more... plus you got an airport nearby (Harrisburg International, aka HIA). Do a deal with Marriot for the Fairfield Inn & Suites' parking lot, build a garage, a station over the tracks, done.
Don´t get me started on Paoli´s rebuild... Sacrificing two perfectly good express tracks for an ISLAND PLATFORM instead of making the existing side platforms high level, thus causing a bottle neck at the station since 4 tracks dwindle to two for a tenth of a mile. I feel the only way the station can be improved is if two express tracks can be added where the side platforms used to be. I like things balanced. I feel most right of ways must be either double tracked or 4-tracked for an equal flow of traffic.
  by rcthompson04
 
Pensyfan19 wrote: Tue Oct 20, 2020 11:05 am
STrRedWolf wrote: Mon Oct 19, 2020 8:34 pm I can see rebuilding everything low-block to high-block, but I got two items that really grind the ol' gears:

Exton: WHY OH WHY does the Pennsylvanian stop there on the eastbound-to-Philly/New York?!? The only sense it has stopping there is a mid-hour fill-in for the Keystone, but even then it would make sense to stop there on the west bound as well.

Middletown: Not there. It's a freakin' wide spot in an out-of-the-way corner of town. The parking lot is 72 spots and it looks like it could use more... plus you got an airport nearby (Harrisburg International, aka HIA). Do a deal with Marriot for the Fairfield Inn & Suites' parking lot, build a garage, a station over the tracks, done.
Don´t get me started on Paoli´s rebuild... Sacrificing two perfectly good express tracks for an ISLAND PLATFORM instead of making the existing side platforms high level, thus causing a bottle neck at the station since 4 tracks dwindle to two for a tenth of a mile. I feel the only way the station can be improved is if two express tracks can be added where the side platforms used to be. I like things balanced. I feel most right of ways must be either double tracked or 4-tracked for an equal flow of traffic.
There are only 2 tracks in service west of Paoli until the old Trenton cutoff. Not saying I am the hugest fan of the platform, but every train stops there.
  by rcthompson04
 
rcthompson04 wrote: Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:56 pm Smucker needs to do his research about the ADA compliance that is public source. If he is
concerned about these three he would die over SEPTA.
Especially when many SEPTA stations have nothing more than a single door mini high ramp.
[/quote]

Most of the Paoli-Thorndale line doesn’t even have mini ramps.
  by Backshophoss
 
He should be jumping all over SEPTA on their lack of access and get his fellow state house critters to fork over the needed funds ASAP!
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