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Date: 03/14/09 11:39
Amtrak stimulus spending so far
Author: floridajoe2001

Thought folks would appreciate an update of announced projects.

AMTRAK PORTION - $1.3B (funds available as of 3-13-09)
$850M - for capital improvements
$450M - for safety improvements
Administered by FRA as grants for projects to be completed in 2 yrs.; can't be spent on existing programs.

________________________________________________________________________________________________

ANNOUNCED PROJECTS:

1. Replace Niantic River bridge near New London, Ct. - $105M
(engineering work done; just awaiting funding; work to start immediately)

2. Restore all stored cars at Beech Grove & Bear, Del. - $52M
(address sold out train conditions & permit new State run trains)

3. Wilmington, Del., station improvements - $21M
(Renovate station in & out; replace rail thru station + add 3rd hi-level platform)

4. Rehab major elements of NEC electrification - $63M
(example: new frequency converter at Chester,Pa. etc. to prevent black outs)

5. Construct new AutoTrain terminal at Sanford, Fl. - $10.5M

6. Install Positive Train Control signaling system - $60M
(on lines owned by Amtrak: south end of NEC (NY-Was); Porter, Ind.-Kalamazoo, Mich.)

TOTAL ANNOUNCED TO DATE OUT OF THE $850M----$311.5M



Date: 03/14/09 11:46
Re: Amtrak stimulus spending so far
Author: RNinRVR

Hope that number 4 will address the constant tensioning system needed south of NYC to allow the Acela to get its speed up to 150.

Sharon Evans
Glen Allen, VA



Date: 03/14/09 12:10
Re: Amtrak stimulus spending so far
Author: bnsfbob

Just as I feared-the money pit NEC gets most of the stimulus.

Politics as usual-outside of the NEC, money-strapped states have to pay for their own improvements.

I like Joe Biden, but it's no surprise that diminutive Delaware is really getting slathered in Amtrak stim money.


Bob



Date: 03/14/09 12:11
Re: Amtrak stimulus spending so far
Author: smitty195

Okay, all of these stimulus numbers are making my head spin. I was never good with numbers, so can someone please explain something to me? If I recall correctly, wasn't Amtrak's funding last fiscal year from Congress somewhere around the 1.3 billion dollar figure? So then for the current spending, is Amtrak receiving the usual annual funding (around 1.3 billion?), and then in addition to the regular funding, they are receiving an additional 1.3 billion for the projects listed above from FloridaJoe? Do I have this correct, or am I all messed up? Thanks.



Date: 03/14/09 12:24
Amtrak stimulus spending so far
Author: jp1822

I thought Amtrak Pres. Boardman said as soon as he got the 2009 budget money he would order the 75 baggage cars (or combination order of baggage and baggage/crew cars), 25 single level sleepers, 25 single level diners and 130 or so bi-level coaches. Is that still in the works or has that now under mixed messages?

Reading various posts on this forum, I thought this was ready to go and nearly a done deal - once the money came in. The problem is, I've gotten confused on how much money Amtrak is supposed to get (or how much money is potentially on the table etc.) for its current year budget, any immediately stimulus, and then how the "high speed train" money comes into play - supposedly a few billion for this? Can anyone provide a breakdown and status?



Date: 03/14/09 13:11
Re: Amtrak stimulus spending so far
Author: RD10747

Seems as tho', the Long Distance West is the step-child
of Amtrak...



Date: 03/14/09 13:41
Re: Amtrak stimulus spending so far
Author: prr60

From the DOT...

Examples of Amtrak Projects to be Funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)


Replacement of the movable bridge over the Niantic River on the Northeast Corridor in Connecticut - $105 million. In the largest single Amtrak project to be funded through the Recovery Act, Amtrak will replace the 102-year-old drawbridge which carries the Northeast Corridor over the Niantic River near East Lyme, Connecticut. The replacement of this aging bridge has been planned for over 20 years, but has been repeatedly deferred due to a lack of capital funding for Amtrak. Any further delay in replacing the bridge would result in the imposition of significant speed restrictions over the bridge (with resulting increases to passenger’s travel times), and potentially a major disruption to passenger rail service between New York and Boston were the bridge’s moving machinery to fail in the open position. Amtrak estimates that the bridge replacement will result in 860 person-years of work for those directly employed in the bridge construction.

Rehabilitating and returning to service 68 stored or damaged passenger cars - $82 million. With $82 million in Recovery Act funding, Amtrak with rehabilitate and return to service 68 passenger cars that are have long been in storage due to damage and lack of funding for necessary repairs. Once returned to service, many of the cars (which include among them both corridor and long-distance equipment types) will be used to alleviate capacity constraints on heavily-traveled trains, while others may be made available for new State-supported Amtrak services. The cars will be repaired at Amtrak’s maintenance of equipment facilities in Beech Grove, Indiana and Bear, Delaware, both located near recently closed manufacturing facilities in areas that have been hard hit by the economic downturn. Amtrak anticipates hiring 125 workers to work on this project.

Rehabilitation of the Lamokin frequency converters in Chester, Pennsylvania - $63 million. Using $63 million in Recovery Act funding, Amtrak will entirely rebuild three rotary frequency converters, which form a key element of the power supply system for the Northeast Corridor, located in Chester, Pennsylvania. Known as the “Lamokin Converters,” they were placed in service in the 1920's as part of the Pennsylvania Railroad's electrification of its mainline between Philadelphia and Wilmington, Delaware (on what has since become Amtrak's Northeast Corridor (NEC)). Since that time, the three 16 megawatt motor-generator sets located at the site have been in continuous use to convert commercial electric power, which operates at 60 Hertz alternating current, to the 25 Hertz alternating current that powers Amtrak and commuter trains along the NEC south of New York City.

After over 80 years of continuous use, the Lamokin frequency converters are in dire need of major rehabilitation to ensure their future reliability. As demonstrated by the power outages that crippled Amtrak and commuter rail service in the Northeast on several occasions in 2006 (the causes of which were traced to frequency converting equipment), the reliable supply of electric power is essential to the NEC remaining one of the county's most energy-efficient examples of transportation infrastructure. Through this project, the three rotary converters will be entirely rebuilt with rewound motor coils, new stator coils, and new collector rings, allowing them to continue to serve passengers on the NEC for generations to come. Amtrak estimates that the project will result in 504 person-years of work for those directly employed in the rehabilitation of the frequency converters.

Repairs to Amtrak facilities nationwide - $105 million. In the most wide-reaching of Amtrak’s Recovery Act-funded projects, dozens of aging Amtrak facilities throughout the country will be the target of significant repairs, such as roof replacements, plumbing repairs, heating and air conditioning improvements. Throughout the recent history of inadequate capital funding for Amtrak, these projects, which include work on stations, maintenance facilities, crew facilities, and warehouses, have been repeatedly deferred due to more pressing investment requirements. The additional capital funding provided through the Recovery Act will allow these projects (plans for many of which have been sitting on the shelf for years) to move forward quickly. Amtrak anticipates using local contractors throughout the country to perform this work, resulting in an estimated 860 person-years of work.

Restoration of the Wilmington, Delaware station - $21 million. With $21 million in Recovery Act funding, plus additional funding from the State of Delaware and other sources, Amtrak will make restorations to Wilmington, Delaware’s historic century-old Victorian train station. The project will incorporate the rebuilding and restoration of the interior of the station buildings, improvements to make the buildings entirely accessible for those with disabilities, restoration of the building's terracotta façade, and the replacement of the track and supporting infrastructure which runs through the station. In addition to increasing comfort and convenience for passengers using Amtrak’s eleventh busiest station, the project includes the construction of a third high-level platform, which will significantly increase the capacity of the station. Amtrak estimates that the project will result in 168 person-years of work for those directly employed in the restoration of the station.

Construction of a new station for the Auto Train in Sanford, Florida - $10.5 million. With $10.5 million in Recovery Act funding, Amtrak will construct a new station at the Auto-Train’s southern terminus in Sanford, Florida. The Auto Train, one of Amtrak’s best performing long-distance services, and one of the nation’s most innovative forms of intermodal passenger transportation, transports passenger together with their private automobiles non-stop from Lorton, Virginia (15 miles south of Washington, DC), to Central Florida. The new station will replace temporary facilities that have been in place since the destruction of much of the previous station by the 2005 hurricanes, and will provide Auto Train passengers with a more comfortable waiting area and allow for faster, more efficient boarding operations. Amtrak estimates that the project will result in 84 person-years of work for those directly employed in the construction of the new station.

Installation of Positive Train Control on the Amtrak-owned Michigan Line (Porter, Indiana – Kalamazoo, Michigan) and the south-end of the Northeast Corridor (New York – Washington). Amtrak will invest $60 million in Recovery Act funding in installing Positive Train Control (PTC) on its Porter, Indiana to Kalamazoo, Michigan line (used by Chicago – Detroit trains) and on the south-end of the Northeast Corridor (between New York and Washington). PTC is an advanced signaling technology that can prevent train-to-train collisions, over-speed derailments, train incursions into roadway work zones, and movement over switches improperly lined. The installation of PTC by 2015 on all routes used by intercity passenger trains is mandated by the recently enacted Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008. The Recovery Act funding will allow for the acceleration of the installation of PTC on lines owned by Amtrak, and will result in an immediate safety benefit, along with potential trip-time reductions where the advanced signaling system will allow for increased speeds.



Date: 03/14/09 13:46
Re: Amtrak stimulus spending so far
Author: fatdane

Diminutive Delaware? If Wilmington, DE is the 11th busiest station in the system something is being done right. Not much local airport competition , and a lot of travel to and from NYC and DC.



Date: 03/14/09 14:24
Re: Amtrak stimulus spending so far
Author: lowwater

To hopefully clarify, the $1.3 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) has to be spent on "shovel-ready" new, i.e. not already-funded projects. It cannot be spent on operating costs/losses, or funded projects already underway. This is the so-called "stimulus" funding.

The $1.325 billion for Amtrak in the Omnibus Spending Bill is the annual (Fiscal year 2009)Amtrak operating appropriation. From what I can tell with a quick Google this is the same as the FY2008 appropriation and therefore the Continuing Resolution -- AMTK had requested $1.537 billion. I can't find a formal request for FY2010 yet, I guess that's the budget report we're waiting for.

So basically Amtrak has what's left of the $1.325 billion FY2009 operating funding, presumably about half, and $1.3 billion in ARRA spending to play with. Based on what's been announced it may actually be hard to spend the stimulus money in the time period allotted. With the possible exception of a 79-mph standard train LAX-LV, I don't know of any new routes that could be ginned up that quickly, although with freight railroad cooperation some work could be started on such as the CCC plan in Ohio and increased frequency on a number of routes could be as well, with the money spent on equipment and increased capacity.

lowwater



Date: 03/14/09 14:37
Re: Amtrak stimulus spending so far
Author: smitty195

Thanks, lowwater, for the clarification.



Date: 03/14/09 15:33
Re: Amtrak stimulus spending so far
Author: fjc

Folks tend to forget there is more to Amtrak than the NEC.



Date: 03/14/09 16:30
Re: Amtrak stimulus spending so far
Author: MEKoch

No. 6 seems odd, since Positive Train Control does not yet exist as a proven technology. But I am assuming in Michigan (and later Illinois) they will install a cab signaling system with automatic train stop.

Or will they extend what is already in place from Kalamazoo to Niles, MI into the rest of the Detroit trains (Kalamazoo - Deaborn and Niles - Porter, IN)?



Date: 03/14/09 16:31
Re: Amtrak stimulus spending so far
Author: DavidP

fjc Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Folks tend to forget there is more to Amtrak than
> the NEC.


From what I've read, it looks like about half of the stimulus money goes to the NEC, half elsewhere. Sanford Terminal, Michigan PTC, rebuilt Amfleets all benefit area outside the Northeast. Given that the Northeast is the country's most densely populated region, and that the NEC has more than half Amtrak's customers and contributes more than half its revenues, the balance seems right. Its not unusual after all for businesses to invest in their product lines with demonstrated market acceptance, yet have considerable growth potential as well.

Dave



Date: 03/14/09 16:43
Re: Amtrak stimulus spending so far
Author: Jaap

MEKoch Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> No. 6 seems odd, since Positive Train Control does
> not yet exist as a proven technology. But I am
> assuming in Michigan (and later Illinois) they
> will install a cab signaling system with automatic
> train stop.
>
> Or will they extend what is already in place from
> Kalamazoo to Niles, MI into the rest of the
> Detroit trains (Kalamazoo - Deaborn and Niles -
> Porter, IN)?



ACSES is proven and in daily use on NEC it still has to be expanded to all parts of NEC however.



Date: 03/14/09 17:20
Re: Amtrak stimulus spending so far
Author: bnsfbob

floridajoe2001 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
Install Positive Train Control signaling
> system - $60M
> (on lines owned by Amtrak: Porter, Ind.-Kalamazoo, Mich.)

I thought Amtrak already had an operational advanced train control system Porter-Kalamazoo?

???

Bob



Date: 03/14/09 18:57
Re: Amtrak stimulus spending so far
Author: krapplem

bnsfbob Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> floridajoe2001 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> Install Positive Train Control signaling
> > system - $60M
> > (on lines owned by Amtrak: Porter,
> Ind.-Kalamazoo, Mich.)
>
> I thought Amtrak already had an operational
> advanced train control system Porter-Kalamazoo?
>
> ???
>
> Bob


There was/is a system from KAL to Niles based on GPS (there was talk of extending it to Porter but I don't know if that every happened). Every time I've been on the train they had problems with it causing the train to slow repeatedly. Once they turned it off entirely and proceeded at 79 mph. It's been a year and a half since I've been on that stretch so I don't know if they still use it at all or got the bugs worked out.



Date: 03/14/09 19:58
Re: Amtrak stimulus spending so far
Author: AlwaysLate

prr60 Wrote:
Amtrak
> estimates that the bridge replacement will result
> in 860 person-years of work for those directly
> employed in the bridge construction.


The cars will be
> repaired at Amtrak’s maintenance of equipment
> facilities in Beech Grove, Indiana and Bear,
> Delaware, both located near recently closed
> manufacturing facilities in areas that have been
> hard hit by the economic downturn. Amtrak
> anticipates hiring 125 workers to work on this
> project.
>
> Rehabilitation of the Lamokin frequency converters
> in Chester, Pennsylvania - $63 million. Using $63
> million in Recovery Act funding, Amtrak will
> entirely rebuild three rotary frequency
> converters, which form a key element of the power

The
> additional capital funding provided through the
> Recovery Act will allow these projects (plans for
> many of which have been sitting on the shelf for
> years) to move forward quickly. Amtrak anticipates
> using local contractors throughout the country to
> perform this work, resulting in an estimated 860
> person-years of work.
>
> Restoration of the Wilmington, Delaware station -
> $21 million. With $21 million in Recovery Act
> funding, plus additional funding from the State of
> Delaware and other sources, Amtrak will make
> restorations to Wilmington, Delaware’s historic
> century-old Victorian train station.
Amtrak estimates that the project will
> result in 168 person-years of work for those
> directly employed in the restoration of the
> station.
>
> Construction of a new station for the Auto Train
> in Sanford, Florida - $10.5 million. With $10.5
> million in Recovery Act funding, Amtrak will
> construct a new station at the Auto-Train’s
> southern terminus in Sanford, Florida.
Amtrak estimates that the project will
> result in 84 person-years of work for those
> directly employed in the construction of the new
> station.
>

Yeah, that stimulus package is a complete waste of money I tell ya.(rolls eyes). Here is proof that it will put people to work.



Date: 03/14/09 20:06
Re: Amtrak stimulus spending so far
Author: ts1457

AlwaysLate Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Yeah, that stimulus package is a complete waste of
> money I tell ya.(rolls eyes). Here is proof that
> it will put people to work.

Doesn't prove a thing. It's a de-stimulus plan. How much does each of those jobs costs? I am happy Amtrak and HSR are getting some money upfront. In six months, we will be in an full fledged austerity mode and Amtrak will feel the squeeze. Obama might not want to listen to the likes of Rush on economic matters, but the Chinese are beginning to show that they are going to dictate the terms.



Date: 03/15/09 09:02
Re: Amtrak stimulus spending so far
Author: Copy19

It's interesting to see how little the "outrageously high" stimulus plan will buy. It really underscores the likelihood nothing of significance such as HSR will be built in the foreseeable future in the U.S. TO posters don't want their taxes raised and they want the deficit cut. But they do want old technology saved. They don't seem to want bullet trains, but rather the return of the Pioneer and the Desert Wind. Forget about improving the NEC, that's "back east." The freight railroads probably will be very reluctant to restore any passenger service on a line that doesn't have it, especially in light of the requirement to add PTC where freight and passenger trains mix. There's lots of mixed signals in this Amtrak debate as demonstrated a few days ago when I suggested on TO we build a bullet train between LA and Vegas.
JB



Date: 03/15/09 18:48
Re: Amtrak stimulus spending so far
Author: lwilton

The trouble is that there are no simple answers to the mess we are in. And the US People have become Really Simple over the last few decades and are no longer capable of understanding an answer that isn't Really Simple like "yes, honney, have another one, Daddy will buy you two".

The closest thing to a simple answer is "people here in the US - not in China - are going to have to go out and use shovels and hammers and wrenches and actually work (rather than sitting at desks playing with computers), and we are going to have to have some of that nasty industry stuff, even in OUR back yard."

People don't want to hear that, so there are no simple answers.



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