Harrisburg train station, bus terminal to get new HVAC system

The Harrisburg Transportation Center will receive $635,000 in federal funds to pay for a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey announced Friday.

Each year, more than 1.5 million people each pass through the hub, using Amtrak trains and Greyhound buses, a release said. The Harrisburg Redevelopment Authority has operated the 135-year-old station, which is owned by Amtrak, since 1983.

Much of the existing system, including the cooling tower, pumps and chiller, were installed over two decades ago. After the redevelopment authority contacted Casey’s office about the need to replace the unit, Congress earmarked money for the project in its most recent budget, signed into law in March.

“This was urgent because of what we saw during the … pandemic,” Casey said in the release. “Air quality can help prevent the spread of the virus. Even absent that though, it’s critical we make these investments as part of a larger set of investments to improve the basic infrastructure of this historic building.”

The approval process will take a few months to work through the Federal Transit Administration and Amtrak. Once the redevelopment authority receives the funds, it will seek bids for the project.

“We need, and deserve, a station fitting for a capital city,” added Harrisburg Mayor Wanda Williams, “and we’re incredibly grateful for the work (redevelopment authority executive director) Bryan Davis and his team did to ask for these funds, and for Sen. Casey for delivering the money to the people who need it most.”

New Amtrak station in Middletown opens

Amtrak trains will no longer stop at the former Middletown train station at Union and Mill streets.

The new station, at 270 West Emaus Street, caps a $49.5 million project funded through the Federal Transit Administration, PennDOT and Amtrak.  

“Pennsylvanians deserve connected communities supporting their movement and economies,” said Wolf. “We’re pleased to bring these significant transportation improvements to Middletown.” 

Site preparation for the new station was completed in late 2016 with station construction substantially completed by late 2021.  

The project includes a central high-level platform, a pedestrian overpass to the platform, elevator and stair towers, accessible ramps, on-site parking and designated bus loading zones. 

“We applaud PennDOT on the completion of this new intermodal accessible station along the Keystone Corridor here in Middletown to connect rail, air and local bus services at one convenient location while also creating an anchor for potential development,” said Tom Moritz, Amtrak AVP of infrastructure access and investment. “Amtrak was proud to support this project through an in-kind contribution of track work at the station valued at approximately $8 million.”