US-based passenger railroad service Amtrak has started construction work to increase rail capacity at Washington Union Station.

This project is a part of the other improvements that aim to upgrade and enhance the passenger experience at the station, which is said to be the second busiest terminal in the country.

Amtrak awarded a contract for the Track 22 Reconstruction Project to Skanska USA Civil Northeast.

According to the agreement, Skanska will carry out work to rebuild the platform, overhaul and restore the historic columns, and construct a new covered walkway.

The walkway will provide a link to the platform using a new elevator, escalator, and stairs to the station.

The US Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has provided a $19m grant to fund a part of the construction project that aims to increase track capacity for Amtrak and Virginia Railway Express (VRE) revenue trains.

Amtrak Stations, Facilities, Properties and Accessibility VP David Handera said: “Washington Union Station is integral to the national rail network. This project will allow Amtrak to construct a new revenue track and increase capacity to meet the growing demand for rail services.”

Amtrak and VRE revenue service to Track 22 is expected to commence in 2022.

Earlier this month, Amtrak implemented additional cleanliness and convenience measures for passengers, as the country prepares to reopen after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Last month, Amtrak was one of the recipients of the $302m grant announced by the FRA.

It received two Northeast Corridor (NEC) grants worth more than $63m.

Amtrak also sent a letter to the US Congress requesting $1.475bn in supplemental funding for the next fiscal year.

In April, the service received $1bn in federal funds as it faces an unprecedented drop in ridership due to the Covid-19 crisis.