For four years, federal officials have been investigating ways to accommodate for rail passenger growth in the Northeast and recently, they proposed a rail upgrade that would give residents in Wilmington, Delaware an easier way to get to Philadelphia International Airport.
Right now, those in Wilmington are forced to take an Amtrak train north to Philadelphia’s 30th Street station and then transfer to a SEPTA train and travel back south to get to the airport. If a new rail loop was built, it would extend from the Chester, Pennsylvania area (beginning at Eddystone Rail Station) to the airport and then travel north to University City. This means that Wilmington residents could hop on the train an head straight to the airport, eliminating the need to go through the 30th Street station.
The new track would also serve as a more convenient “bridge” between New York City and Washington D.C. and would shorten the travel time by 35 minutes for those traveling between the two cities. In addition, the line would bring more traffic to Philadelphia Airport, which is always welcome.
The project is supported overwhelmingly by both Delawareans and Philadelphians and though the final cost hasn’t yet been determined, it would be the final portion of expansion recommendations costing $120 billion over 30 years. Other recommendations include the construction of additional rail tracks between Boston and Washington D.C. as well as $40 billion in general rail maintenance.
Because the track hasn’t been fully approved yet, it’s likely to take several years to put the project in motion. Not only do Philadelphia and Delaware transportation departments have to come together to complete the idea, but they also have to find the money to do so.