Grants awarded for Northeast Corridor modernisation

Northeast Corridor The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) provided Amtrak two USD 63 million grants for Northeast Corridor rehabilitation project which has a total value of USD 302.6 million.

The grants will fund the Portal North Bridge project and the Winans to Bridge improvement project.

USD 55.1 million will support the Portal North Bridge project to replace the old two-track swing bridge in Kearny, New Jersey with a fixed span.

The new bridge is designed as a 4-km modern fixed structure that will eliminate the failures associated with aging infrastructure that causes delays across the NEC. A higher clearance, with more than 15m above the Hackensack River, will eliminate the need for the bridge to open, allowing increased speeds. Early construction of the new bridge began in 2017 and was completed on time and on budget. NJ TRANSIT is seeking a core capacity grant from the Federal Transit Administration that would allow major construction to begin as soon as next year.

The bridge, which is a critical link for intercity and commuter passengers traveling to or from New York City, was used by 450 daily trains totalling 200,000 daily trips in 2019. The bridge is also a key component of the Gateway Programme to modernise the Northeast Corridor.

Additionally, as part of a separate project, Amtrak, and Maryland Transit Administration will receive USD 8 million to rehabilitate and upgrade an 8-km track that is part of the Amtrak‐owned NEC mainline near Baltimore.

The work will include upgrades from Winans to Bridge interlockings, replacing timber ties with concrete, installing heavier rail and laying new ballast. Bridge interlocking is located at the north end of West Baltimore Station and Winans is at the south end of Halethorpe Station. These upgrades will enable high‐speed operations on all four tracks on this segment.

The project will restore Track A to speeds of 150 km/h up from 95 km/h providing shorten trip times, operational flexibility and improved service quality.

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