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Work begins on Mount Joy train station improvements

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MOUNT JOY, Pa.–PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards hosted a groundbreaking event Wednesday for improvements to the Mount Joy station on Amtrak’s Keystone Corridor, the latest in a series of investments to improve service on the 104-mile line.

The $25 million project will replace low-level platforms with covered, elevated ones that will make boarding trains easier, improve access with the addition of elevators and enclosed stair towers, and a pedestrian overpass between the east and westbound platforms. Work also includes adding 42 parking spaces and improving a total of 112 parking spaces and slope stabilization.

“These improvements will further enhance the center of Mount Joy and help boost the borough’s ongoing revitalization plans,” Richards said. “Transit plays a crucial role in building communities, and we have seen the results from more than a decade of upgrades to the Keystone Corridor.”

In addition, the new station will meet the requirements of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

“This will provide equal access for all people, allowing persons with disabilities, senior citizens, and other people with mobility challenges to live, work, and access transportation in this community,” Richards said. “As it is now, the station consists of two small shelters on two paved low-level platforms situated in a deep trench, which is simply not accessible for some people.”

The new phase of the Mount Joy station improvements, expected to take three years to complete, complements Phase 1, which added streetscaping, 69 parking spaces and a covered walkway between the parking lot and station. Phase 1 was completed in 2012.

Working with Amtrak and the Federal Transit Administration, PennDOT has overseen more than $400 million in improvements to the Harrisburg to Philadelphia and New York Keystone Corridor since 2000. Upgrades to tracks and signals have cut the travel time between Harrisburg and Philadelphia to just over an hour and a half with speeds of up to 110 mph. Station improvements were also done at Elizabethtown and Lancaster and plans are underway for a new station at Middletown and improvements to the Coatesville station. Ridership has climbed to roughly 1.4 million a year. More than 50,000 riders a year use the Mount Joy station.

“Amtrak values its partnership with PennDOT and we look forward to working together to provide an upgraded station which will be accessible to all customers,” said Caroline Decker, Amtrak’s vice president of government affairs. “PennDOT’s leadership in improving the Keystone Corridor has contributed to a growth in ridership and demonstrated the value of intercity passenger rail service to the residents of the commonwealth.”

SOURCE: PennDOT