NJ Transit awarded $18M grant from feds to improve Trenton train station

New Jersey Transit will receive a grant of more than $18 million from the federal government to improve its rail platform, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced Wednesday.

Trenton was one of 11 intercity passenger rail projects in nine states that will be funded through the Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair Program.

NJ Transit will receive a grant of $18,281,313. In all, more than $291 million will be awarded.

The Partnership Program is intended to improve intercity passenger rail performance by funding capital projects to repair, replace or rehabilitate publicly owned or controlled railroad assets, thereby bringing them into a state of good repair.

According to the Department of Transportation, the grant is to be used to rehabilitate two island platforms and upgrade a side platform to high-level boarding, remediating existing platforms’ deteriorated conditions and expanding station capacity at the Trenton Transit Center.

Transportation officials said the project is intended to improve the safety and accessibility of the boarding environment, including full ADA compliance at all platforms at the station. The platforms, canopies and vertical circulation elements being rehabilitated were rated “adequate” to “poor” in the applicant’s most recent assessment, officials said.

The station serves Amtrak intercity train services and NJ Transit commuter service.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said in a release that the $291 million will help upgrade rail infrastructure and enhance railroad safety and reliability in communities across America.

Funding for these awards totals $291,422,706, with $198 million made available from the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020 and $93,422,706 in remaining funds made available through the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2019.

The Federal Railroad Administration published a Notice of Funding Opportunity for this award cycle on June 10. The evaluation and selection process considered several factors in choosing projects, including the project’s abilities to improve service and safety and to meet existing or anticipated demand.

“This administration has invested billions in railroad infrastructure to ensure the safe movement of passengers and goods throughout our nation,” Batory said. “These investments have proven vital during this challenging year and kept essential supplies moving throughout our nation, and these State of Good Repair grants will continue those improvements and enhance passenger rail service to ready the nation for the forthcoming recovery.”

Here’s a look at where the money is going:

  • California — San Diego Next Generation Signaling and Grade Crossing Modernization, up to $9,836,917, North County Transit District;
  • California — Pacific Surfliner Corridor Rehabilitation and Service Reliability, up to $31,800,000, Southern California Regional Rail Authority;
  • Connecticut — Walk Bridge Replacement, up to $79,700,000, Connecticut Department of Transportation;
  • Connecticut — Connecticut River Bridge Replacement, up to $65,200,799, Amtrak;
  • Massachusetts — Worcester Union Station Accessibility and Infrastructure Improvements, up to $29,303,350, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority;
  • Maryland — MARC Northeast Corridor Train Storage Preservation Project, up to $9,400,000, Maryland Transit Administration;
  • Michigan — Ypsilanti to Jackson Curve Modifications, up to $15,570,327, Michigan Department of Transportation;
  • New Jersey — Trenton Transit Center Station Improvements, up to $18,281,313, New Jersey Transit Corp.;
  • New York — Hudson Avenue Grade Crossing Rehabilitation and Safety Improvements, up to $2,000,000, New York State Department of Transportation;
  • Pennsylvania — Harrisburg Line Signal System Renewal: Paoli to Overbrook, up to $15,910,000, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority;
  • Virginia — Newington Road Bridge Replacement, up to $14,420,000, Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation.