Amtrak, Zoo to Paoli Electrification Transmission Line

The New York-Washington-Harrisburg portion of Amtrak was electrified by the Pennsylvania Railroad in several stages between 1915 and 1940. The 20 mile stretch of electrification between the Zoo and Paoli was completed in 1915 and upgraded in 1938.

In an effort to create a new primary electrical transmission route and increase power transmission reliability and efficiency between the Safe Harbor hydro-electric generating facility on the Susquehanna River and Philadelphia, PA, Amtrak is expanding its 138KV transmission network approximately 16 miles. The century-old infrastructure is deteriorated, has far exceeded its expected in-service life, and is therefore unable to support the new transmission line. Burns is leading the design of the new transmission line, which will be supported on new combination transmission/catenary structures. In addition to the transmission line, the project will provide catenary modifications, a redundant signal circuit, 138KV tie-ins at the Zoo and Paoli substations, and a new step-down substation at Bryn Mawr. Through the completion of this project, Burns is playing an important role in Amtrak’s continued effort to bring the Keystone Corridor up to a state-of-good-repair.

Burns Role

  • Overall project management of a multi-consultant team
  • Coordination with local municipalities and stakeholders
  • Traction power engineering for new and modified substations
  • Overhead catenary support engineering
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Location: Philadelphia and Montgomery counties, PA
Railroad & Transit
Client: Amtrak

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