Posts Tagged ‘Pittsburgh light rail’

Pittsburgh Transit Stations Getting Renovations

February 16, 2022

The Port Authority of Allegheny County has stepped up the rehabilitation of stations along its Red Line rail line in Pittsburgh.

The agency began the project at the Fallowfield Station in the Beechview neighborhood.

A temporary closure of the rail line enabled the port authority to speed up its schedule of station repairs, agency officials said.

The work includes repairing concrete platforms and metal railings, replacing tactile pads, refurbishing overhead canopies, and painting.

Station repair is expected to cost $10.8 million and includes work at 18 high-platform stations.

Until the Red Line was knocked out of service by a bridge closure, the port authority had been planning to launch the station rehabilitation project in the spring.

A shift in the deck of a bridge over Saw Mill Run Boulevard led the port authority to close the Red Line on Feb. 4.

Engineers determined the bridge shifted after water penetrated a concrete portion of the bridge and froze during a winter storm.

Port authority officials have not said when the bridge will be repaired and reopened.

Pittsburgh Transit Agency Eyes Car Replacement

March 9, 2021

A plan to replace aging light rail vehicles on Port Authority of Allegheny County rail lines in Pittsburgh is expected is take up five to eight years to complete.

The agency said recently the planning process to prepare specifications for new cars is expected to take nine months.

Replacement of the cars is projected to cost between $400 million to $500 million.

The Port Authority wants to replace its 53 Siemens-built cars that date to the opening of the light rail system in the mid-1980s.

Among the cars in the overall fleet are 28 cars built by CAF in the 2000s.

Some of the 35-year old cars may be rebuilt rather than replaced.

A Port Authority spokesman said the agency needs to determine which cars could be rebuilt but said some cars have too much wear and tear to make rebuilding feasible.

Pittsburgh Light Rail Facility to get Upgrades

November 4, 2020

The Port Authority of Allegheny County has approved a plan to renovate its light rail maintenance facility in Pittsburgh.

The $11.2 million project will cover work that will take place over a 17-month period to renovate the 35-year-old facility.

The work will focus on maintenance pits, plumbing, and electricity, and be conducted over six phases.

It will include restoring concrete approaches and pits; replacing rails and supports; placing protective coating on the floor; modifying compressed air piping, drainage, and hot-water systems; and improving the electrical system and lighting.

Landslides Partly Close Pittsburgh Transit Tunnel

January 11, 2020

Portions of the Mount Washington Transit Tunnel in Pittsburgh were closed this week after storms led to runoffs that created landslides.

Officials with the Port Authority of Allegheny County, which operates the city’s light rail network, said they expect the tunnel to reopen in both directions on Monday morning.

The tunnel is used by light rail trains and Port Authority buses.

Since Tuesday only outbound trains and buses have been able to use the tunnel and they were confined to the inbound lanes.

During the closure trains have been rerouted to the dormant Allentown Line while buses have been detoured around the tunnel.

Officials said the landslides have blocked the exits from the tunnel of the outbound lanes.

The landslides occurred below Paul Street.

Port Authority spokesman Adam Brandolph said on Friday that workers are removing trees and vegetation from the hillside and rocks and dirt from the landslide site.

Workers from the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority will need to repair a sewer damaged by the landslide, but buses and trains can use the tunnel during that work.

Officials have said a faulty sewer drain was the cause of the landslides because storm water was unable to drain into the sewer system and instead cascades down the hillside.

“There’s an ongoing problem with drainage from Paul Street on Mount Washington,” Brandolph said. “We will not be fully reopening the tunnel until our engineers can review the hillside and we are sure it is safe to do so.”

Because trains on the Allentown line don’t stop at Station Square, the Port Authority is running shuttle buses from Station Square to the First Avenue station for riders who normally ride inbound from there.

Pittsburgh Light Rail Line Back to Normal

August 29, 2018

A Pittsburgh light rail line has returned to full service after the completion of repairs to rebuild track and a station that were damaged by a Norfolk Southern derailment on Aug. 5

The Station Square Station was damaged along with the overhead wires and tracks.

The inbound tracks were returned to service last Thursday and full service was restored last weekend.

The derailment of a Chicago-bound container train on the NS Mon Line sent containers and cars down a hillside and onto the light rail line operated by the Port Authority of Allegheny County.

Pittsburgh Light Rail Line Damaged by NS Derailment Not Expected to Reopen for 3-4 Weeks

August 14, 2018

A Pittsburgh light rail line station knocked out of service by a Norfolk Southern derailment is not expected to reopen for another three to four weeks.

The Port Authority of Allegheny County said on Monday it has hired consultants and contractors to repair track and equipment damaged by the Aug. 5 derailment of an NS stack train on the Mon Line at the Station Square light rail station.

The T stop at Station Square has been closed since the derailment.

Inspectors found that 1,600 feet of track sustained extensive damage and will need to be replaced.

Also needing replacement is about 4,000 feet of overhead electrical line and the supports for the overhead.

The derailment also shut down the NS Mon Line for three days. The derailment occurred a few minutes after a light-rail train had passed.

One lane of East Carson Street remains closed to allow workers access to the light rail tracks.

A Port Authority spokesman said a cost estimate to repair the damages has not yet been calculated but the agency will seek reimbursement from NS or through insurance.

Although not directly connected to the NS derailment, the Port Authority said hiring contractors to repair the Station Square damage will enable workers to continue to work on the Blue Line in Library where flooding earlier this summer caused significant damage.

That route was expected to open on Sept. 1, but now authorities say that will likely be pushed back because of the NS derailment.

The Port Authority said it will review the NS accident after track and infrastructure repairs are complete to determine if additional safety measures are needed to protect the T station and system in the event of a future freight train derailment.

Pittsburgh Transit Cars to be Rebuilt

June 5, 2018

Light rail transit vehicles in Pittsburgh will be rebuilt during a two year project that will cost $2 million.

The Port Authority of Allegheny County, which operates the light rail network, said the work will begin in the fall and affect 55 Siemens-built cars.

The work, which will take two years to complete, is expected to extend the life of the cars by six years

Some of the cars being rebuilt were delivered in the middle 1980s when the light-rail system opened.

Twenty-eight cars built by CAF will be evaluated. Those cars, acquired in the early 2000s, were already due for a mid-life upgrade.

Pittsburgh Light Rail Gets New CEO

November 10, 2017

Katharine Eagan Kelleman has been named chief executive officer of the Port Authority of Allegheny County, which operates Pittsburgh’s 26.2-mile light rail system.

She succeeds interim CEO David Donahoe, who replaced Ellen McLean last June.

Kelleman, who most recently served as CEO of the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority in Florida, will began at the Port Authority in January.

She also worked for the Maryland Transit Administration and Dallas Area Rapid Transit.

“Katharine’s credentials highlight her well-balanced experience along with a deep understanding of the importance of transit systems in connecting people to every aspect of their lives,” said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.

The search for a new CEO began in April and drew 43 applications for the position.

Pittsburgh Light Rail has Real-Time Tracking

November 7, 2017

Real-time tracking is being offered by the Port Authority of Allegheny County on its light-rail system.

Known as “TrueTime,” it will enable riders to track the status and location of light-rail trains.

“This has been one of the most anticipated items from rail riders for several years,” said Port Authority Interim Chief Executive Officer David Donahoe in a statement. “Real-time information reduces time riders spend waiting for public transit and allows them to make better, more informed decisions about their transit experience.”

Location tracking devices have been placed on more than 80 light-rail vehicles. There is also a system in place to help overcome tracking-service limitations while trains are underground.

Agency officials said that third-party transit-app developers are expected to integrate the rail tracking feature.

PAT Delays New Ticket System

July 6, 2017

Implementation of a new fare collection system on the light rail network in Pittsburgh has been delayed.

The Port Authority of Allegheny County had planned to implement a cashless, proof-of-payment system but has put that off because, among reasons, it has not yet received all of its ConnectCard machines that dispense the new fare cards and tickets at stations.

Once the system is operational, PAT trains will no longer accept cash payments. Passengers will instead use pre-purchased ConnectCards that are validated on the platform before boarding.

The transit agency said the new system will speed up boarding by enabling doors to be opened at more locations.

Originally expected to be in place by June, the additional card machines will not arrive until October.

Another factor has been software performance problems on existing ConnectCard machines and issues with the validators that are part of the new system.

“The goal of the policy is to make the customer experience better, but in order to make that happen, all of the equipment must be available, functional and reliable,” said David Donahoe, the Port Authority’s interim chief executive officer, in a statement.

“Because these items will take time to resolve, I’m not prepared to announce a new start date until I see the results of the work now underway, including field testing.”