Amtrak, the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) and the Delaware Transit Corp. (DTC) recently wrapped up a $71.2 million Northeast Corridor (NEC) capacity improvement project between Wilmington and Newark, Del. It included installation of a 1.5-mile main line third track between Ragan and Yard interlockings as well as bridge replacement and other work.
The project developed as a “shared benefit investment” under a 2011 agreement between DTC and Amtrak, according Amtrak. DTC also contracts with Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), which operates its Wilmington (Del.)/Newark Line regional commuter rail service in the project area.
“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,” Amtrak CEO Bill Flynn said. “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.”
“[W]hile 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,” U.S. Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) said.