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Amtrak Adjusts Schedule of Keystones and SEPTA's Paoli Line to Accomodate Track Work


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Amtrak Adjusts Schedule of Keystones and SEPTA's Paoli Line to Accomodate Track Work


New Schedules Take Effect August 12-13


WASHINGTON & PHILADELPHIA - As work continues to upgrade the tracks along Amtrak's Keystone Corridor between Philadelphia and Paoli, train schedules for SEPTA's Paoli-Thorndale (R5) Regional Rail Line and Amtrak's Keystone Service will change August 12 and August 13 respectively.


The schedule changes are necessary as work on the second phase of the project to reconstruct the westbound track 4 between Overbrook and Paoli begins. This work phase begins August 13 and will continue through mid-November.At the completion of all work, customers will enjoy a smoother ride and faster trip times.


SEPTA Paoli-Thorndale schedules, with the August 12 effective date, are now available at stations and online to view or print at http://www.septa.org. New Amtrak schedules for the Keystone Service are available on board trains and online at http://www.amtrak.com.


The project, which is being funded by SEPTA, allows for the installation of concrete ties and continuous welded rail on tracks 1 and 4, which serve the rail stations between Overbrook and Paoli. The project consists of a crew of more than 140 workers installing 80,000 concrete ties and 60 miles of continuous- welded rail to complete the restoration of the quadruple track along the railroad between Philadelphia and Paoli.


The upgrade will mean better service for the Paoli-Thorndale Line, which is SEPTA's busiest rail line providing more than 22,000 daily trips. All SEPTA stations between Overbrook and Thorndale will be affected by the schedule changes associated with the improvement project.


"Our goal during the first phase was to complete the necessary track work with minimal disruption to train service," said Jay McArthur, principal officer for state contracts for Amtrak. "Based on our on-time performance during this first phase, we were able to do just that while still providing service at a level our passengers expect."


During the first phase of the project, which began in May, the on-time performance (OTP) of Amtrak's Keystone Service remained above the goal of 85 percent. For the month of May, the OTP was 92.3 percent. In June it was 88.4 percent despite the ongoing track work. During the same time period, ridership grew on Amtrak's Keystone Service. In May ridership was 87,639, an increase of 23 percent over May 2006. In June the total was 86,440, an increase of 20 percent over June 2006.


Information on the project is available at the affected stations and on board trains as well as on the SEPTA website at http://www.septa.org. Riders may call SEPTA Customer Service at (215) 580-7800 for general service information or find the status of a specific SEPTA trains through Train View on the SEPTA website. The status of a specific Amtrak train may be checked online at http://www.amtrak.comand via "Julie," Amtrak's automated, voice-activated agent available by calling 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).


The track work project is a continuation of the upgrade of the Keystone Corridor that began in 2002. Through a partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Amtrak introduced new all-electric service with increased speeds along the corridor in October, 2006.

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