PHILADELPHIA – The Paoli Train Station Accessibility Improvements Project was recently honored for collaborative efforts to upgrade the station along the busy Keystone Corridor between Philadelphia and Harrisburg. A joint project between the Southeastern Pennsylvanian Transportation Authority (SEPTA) and Amtrak, in coordination with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), it received the PA Rail/Transit Transformative Project of the Year Award on March 13, 2019, during the March of Dimes’ annual Transportation, Building + Construction Awards luncheon.
Completed in 22 months, the project upgraded facilities at Paoli, providing full ADA accessibility, modern passenger amenities and improved vehicular circulation. The project scope included rail infrastructure modifications; a new high-level center platform with canopies; a pedestrian overpass; vertical circulation elements to connect the existing station and platforms to the new center island platform; three elevators; and reconfigured north side parking lots. The historic outbound wooden canopy that was part of the late 19th century station was restored and repurposed as a cover for new bike parking facilities.
The project team overcame the challenges of safely constructing between, adjacent to and over active railroad tracks and catenary wires, while maintaining passenger service and minimizing impacts in a highly constrained site.
This project is the initial phase of the Paoli Intermodal Transportation Center Project, which will be followed by the Paoli Transportation Center Highway Improvements Project currently in design by PennDOT. These projects set the stage for a future Paoli Intermodal Station and Parking Garage Project, as well as spurring renewed economic growth and development in the Paoli commercial corridor.
In fiscal year 2018, more than 232,000 customers began or ended their journey at the Paoli station. It is served by the Keystone Service (Harrisburg-Philadelphia-New York) and the Pennsylvanian (New York-Philadelphia-Pittsburgh), both of which are financed primarily through funds made available by PennDOT.