Groundbreaking set for for Paoli train station upgrades

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State Senator Andy Dinniman announced that a groundbreaking ceremony for the first phase of the Paoli Train Station Project is set for next week.

SEPTA and PennDOT will officially kick off the Paoli Station Accessibility Improvements Project on Tuesday, February 28th at 10 a.m., at the Paoli Train Station NW Parking Lot off of Valley Road in Paoli.

“This is big news for Paoli and the surrounding area,” said Dinniman, who serves on the Senate Transportation Committee. “This project has been in the works for some time and we are finally ready to begin the transformation of the current station into the new Paoli Intermodal Transportation Center – one that is accessible to all riders and that will mark a major investment in our regional transportation infrastructure.”

The first phase of the project will bring the station into compliance with federal transportation accessibility standards and the American with Disabilities Act. It calls for significant upgrades and improvements including a new center high-level platform, elevators and ramps, a pedestrian overpass, improved parking, ADA accessibility improvements, and upgrades to the existing rail infrastructure.  The estimated $36 million first phase is expected to be completed next year.

The completion of the accessibility improvements will set the stage for the second phase of the project, the proposed Darby Road Extension. That phase calls for replacing the existing bridge on North Valley Road over the Amtrak/SEPTA lines with a new bridge that redirects the road to the intersection of Lancaster Avenue and Darby Road. This will allow the parking areas and jitney operations on the north side of the tracks to be combined.

A public open house on the second phase of the project has been slated for Monday, March 6 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Tredyffrin Township Building. 

“I want to thank PennDOT, Amtrak, SEPTA, Tredyffrin Township and the Paoli Business and Professional Association for their continued and persistent work on this project and for making the public open house available to residents and rail riders,” Dinniman said.

The final phase of the Paoli project includes the reconstruction of a new, expanded transportation center that will serve the growing needs of residents, commuters, and travelers and support the Paoli business district and future economic growth in the region. The design has yet to be finalized, but the proposed intermodal station complex will include an additional high-level platform on the outbound side, a new waiting area, ticket offices and passenger amenities, enhanced bus facilities, and a commuter parking garage with more than 600 spaces, among other upgrades. Plans also anticipate retail and commercial storefronts on the proposed parking structure.

In addition, Dinniman noted that work continues to progress on time at the Exton Train Station where upgrades are currently underway to add an actual ticket office and enclosed building, raise the platforms, and expand parking, among other improvements. 

That project is expected to be completed next year.

In a related development, Dinniman also recently helped secure $375,000 in state funding for West Whiteland Township for the Route 100-Exton Station Multi-Use Trail, a project to provide pedestrian access from the Chester Valley Train to Exton Station. This new link will offer commuters, residents, visitors, shoppers and employees with safe access to the trail, Main Street at Exton, the Exton Square Mall and many other destinations around Exton Crossroads.

Dinniman emphasized that construction on both the Exton Station and Paoli Station improvements were accelerated, in part due to a federal judge’s ruling on an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) lawsuit.

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