Amtrak, DelDOT and DTC announce completion of Delaware third track project

8 December 2020 (Last Updated December 8th, 2020 16:14)

Amtrak, the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) and the Delaware Transit Corporation (DTC) have completed a $71.2m project to increase capacity between Wilmington and Newark on the Northeast Corridor in the US.

Amtrak, DelDOT and DTC announce completion of Delaware third track project
The recent completion of the third track project will result in improved on-time performance, reduction in delays, and inclusive enhancement in this section of railroad. Credit: National Railroad Passenger Corporation.

Amtrak, the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) and the Delaware Transit Corporation (DTC) have completed a $71.2m project to increase capacity between Wilmington and Newark on the Northeast Corridor in the US.

This infrastructure expansion project in the Northeast Corridor included the 2.4km installation of a new, electrified main line third track between Ragan and Yard interlockings.

The project also involved bridge replacement, elimination of a previous two-track bottleneck and other such improvements.

The completion of the third track project will result in improved on-time performance, reduction in delays, and inclusive enhancement in this railroad section.

US Senator Chris Coons said: “This year started as one of the best for Amtrak, and while ridership is down, the completion of this project and removal of a significant bottleneck will mean more commuter and intercity trains can use the Northeast Corridor and increase the potential volume of rail service through Delaware.

“Our transportation system and passenger rail network desperately need additional investment and a focus on building the infrastructure we deserve. This project is an example of how we can make much-needed infrastructure upgrades, and I am grateful for the investments Amtrak has made in Delaware, along with the federal government and state to make this project possible.”

Amtrak CEO Bill Flynn said: “The completion of this project marks an important rail capacity expansion milestone on the Northeast Corridor, resolving bottlenecks which previously constrained SEPTA and Amtrak from operating service at maximum capacity. As we anticipate the return of pre-Covid-19 ridership growth, it is vital that we have the proper infrastructure in place to support a higher capacity railroad.”

The project was developed as a shared benefit investment as part of a 2011 agreement between Amtrak and DTC.

For the project, grants from the US Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Federal Transit Administration (FTA), and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) were issued to DTC, along with Amtrak funds.

This year, Amtrak installed over 69,000 new railroad ties, more than 48km of new continuous welded rail and completed 220 track miles of track surfacing on its owned and maintained lines in the Northeast Corridor and Michigan.