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Ambler Boiler House, a former asbestos plant and brownfield, earns LEED certification

The Ambler Boiler House is a paragon of adaptive reuse. After a century as an asbestos production plant -- followed by a period of vacancy and a short stint as an EPA-classified brownfield site -- the site has achieved a complete turn around, earning LEED certification in its new life as a multi-tenant office building.
The transformation was 10 years in the making for the iconic structure, which sits adjacent to Ambler’s SEPTA regional rail station. After years of financial setbacks and false starts, in late 2011, the folks at Summit Realty Advisors found the final piece of a complex monetary puzzle needed to make the $16 million project a reality  -- they earned a $2.5 million EnergyWorks grant through the regional EnergyWorks program.

This was the first commercial loan awarded through the program, which up until then promoted energy-efficiency improvements in housing and urban development projects. 
"Ambler has experienced a substantial rejuvenation over the past 15 years," says Matthew Heckendorn, principal at Heckendorn Shiles Architects, lead designers for the renovation. "The Boiler House was an abandoned eyesore and shell with environmental contamination issues. It now has a new life as a successful commercial property."
The project employs numerous sustainable design strategies: it's transit-oriented, an example of adaptive reuse, a case for brownfield redevelopment and a showcase for creative financing. With its new LEED certification, energy efficiency can be added to the list. LEED-mandated features include a geothermal well, high-efficiency glass, and a reflective roof system.
The architects were particularly happy to preserve the plant's historic heritage. "What we take most pride in is the preservation of rough, industrial details married to a clean and contemporary office design," says Heckendorn.

Two of six tenants have already moved into the 48,000-square-foot facility, with one tenant space under construction and three others under design. The next round of tenants are expected to move in this spring and summer. 

Source: Matthew Heckendorn, principal, Heckendorn Shiles Architects
WriterGreg Meckstroth

New Exton pharmaceutical plant receives international sustainability award

Thanks to innovative stormwater practices at the Water Department and the EEB Hub’s research into developing energy-efficient buildings, Philly has been generating real solutions behind the buzzwords "green" and "sustainable." Now the suburbs are getting in on the action too – the new Morphotek Inc. manufacturing plant in Exton recently received global recognition, winning the 2013 Facility of the Year Award for Sustainability.

The Facility of the Year Awards recognize state-of-the-art pharmaceutical manufacturing projects across the globe that utilize innovative technologies. Morphotek’s plant did just that, incorporating sustainable design, construction and operating features. In the coming months, the plan is expected to earn a LEED certification of Silver or higher.

"The Morphotek Pilot Plant puts Pennsylvania on the map with one of the world's first LEED-certified pharmaceutical buildings," says Robert Dick, principal with Precis Engineering out of Ambler, one of the firm’s responsible for constructing the $80 million, 60,000-square-foot facility. Precis Engineering teamed up with Arcus Design Group Architects, Inc. and HSC Builders & Construction Managers, Inc.
Sustainability was integrated into the plant’s design and construction process, starting with remediation of the site (a former brownfield) and ending with the installation of on-site solar panels and water and energy conservation systems.

"Our collaborative design team worked closely with Morphotek to design and execute the project…with emphasis on both sustainability and operational efficiency," says Dick. "We are honored that the Facility of the Year experts recognized our team effort and project results."

The Facility of the Year Sustainability Award will be presented to Morphotek, Precis and the rest of the design team this April in New York City. Additional recognition will come at the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE) National Meeting in November and in upcoming issues of Pharmaceutical Processing and Pharmaceutical Engineering magazines.

Source:  Robert Dick, Principal, Precis Engineering
WriterGreg Meckstroth

Like the Pike: Lower Gwynedd launches campaign to attract attention to Bethlehem Pike

It’s a sleepy stretch of Bethlehem Pike that winds through Spring House, a small Montgomery County suburb between Ambler and Montgomeryville. A great deal of through traffic forsakes Bethlehem Pike to use the far faster Route 309 bypass, while too few people who do drive the Pike get out of their vehicles. With this in mind, Lower Gwynedd Township has embarked on a new campaign called “I like the Pike” to draw attention to Bethlehem Pike’s potential for redevelopment and build a sense of community among existing businesses.

One goal of “I like the Pike” is to highlight the recent streetscape improvements that are designed to make the Bethlehem Pike-corridor more walkable and green. So far, sidewalks and enhanced lighting have been installed on roughly half of the corridor, as part of a $1.5 million project, says Kathleen Hunsicker, the chairwoman of the Lower Gwynedd Board of Supervisors. Also, “walking paths have been built to connect adjacent residential neighborhoods to the Pike so residents can walk to eat and shop,” says Hunsicker.

Lower Gwynedd is also looking to make the community more sustainable by expanding Veterans Memorial Park, which can be found at the intersection of Bethlehem and Penllyn Pikes. As of now, a stone wall has been constructed that will include a sign welcoming drivers to Lower Gwynedd. Hunsicker adds that benches, a water fountain, flagpoles, and a rain garden will make the park a much more appealing place for those strolling along the Pike. It is expected to be completed by autumn of this year.

While walkability and parkland are important components to improving the corridor, attracting businesses is paramount. The Supervisors are most hopeful that restaurants and service businesses will be interested in moving into Spring House. As it always does, zoning plays an enormous role in the ability to lure commercial facilities. “The Township understands that developers might need some flexibility with zoning to brings projects to life,” says Hunsicker. In support of this idea, an ordinance is currently in front of the township planning commission that would provide some leeway in zoning.

“I like the Pike” also seeks to retain existing businesses that dot Bethlehem Pike, and create a semblance of community among them. Hunsicker says she hopes that a Lower Gwynedd Business Association will be formed as a result of the campaign. The campaign also looks to impel locals and visitors to frequent the businesses, such as Spring House Tavern, The Flower Shop of Spring House, and Born to Run shoes, along the corridor through the website. In other words, the campaign is intended to create “a buzz in the community” that lets everyone know “we are open for business,” Hunsicker says. 

Source: Kathleen Hunsicker, Lower Gwynedd Twp. Supervisors  
Writer: Andy Sharpe

Not much snow, but a revived historic lodge at Montco's Spring Mountain

A half-century ago, Schwenksville was considered a destinations for vacationers from the Delaware Valley, along with the Jersey Shore and Poconos, thanks to Spring Mountain skiing and the Perkiomen Creek. Quite a bit has changed since then, as Schwenksville isn't exactly a household name any longer. However, Rick and Gayle Buckman, co-owners of Schwenksville's Spring Mountain ski resort, are hoping to revive the area's appeal to visitors. To do this, they recently renovated and re-opened the historic Woodside Lodge, formerly known as the Woodside Inn and Woodside Manor. 

The Woodside Lodge began accepting visitors again at the end of January. According to Gayle Buckman, the inn features mostly two-room suites with fireplaces. The Buckmans are clearly proud of their lodge's legacy, which dates to 1923. In the midst of the $1.5 million renovation, "we were able to uncover some of the historical elements,” says Gayle Buckman. This includes the building's porches, which, with the exception of one, were opened up like they were decades ago. Buckman is also proud that she was able to preserve the inn's original staircase, although it had to be enclosed due to the fire code.

Spring Mountain was also able to maintain most of the wooden floors on the first level of the lodge. The Buckmans added transoms, which are wooden crosspieces separating doors from windows above them, to add to the historic mystique of the lodge. After all, transoms were prevalent before air conditioning was commonly used because they facilitated cross ventilation. For those of you visiting Spring Mountain during the summer, there's no need to fret, as the lodge is air-conditioned. 

The Buckmans believe the re-opening of Woodside means great things are in store for Spring Mountain. The lodge makes the mountain "a destination,” points out Gayle Buckman. During the winter (assuming it's cold enough), visitors can enjoy a day crammed with skiing and a night relaxing at the Woodside. During the summer, tourists can take advantage of the mountain's one-of-a-kind zip-line canopy, which Buckman says attracts people from across the country, and retire to the inn. The inn is also convenient to the Perkiomen Trail, which is popular among bicyclists.

The lodge also features the Buckman Tavern, whose chef Michael Kenney has experience as Will Smith's personal chef and as a cook at the Four Seasons Hotel. Currently, the tavern is open for dinner, and serves American comfort food. Entree prices range from $15 to $26. Along with entrees, the tavern serves soup, salads, "starters,” and sandwiches. It is generally open between 4:30 and 9 p.m., with later hours on Thursdays and weekends. Kenney also prepares breakfast for overnight guests. 

Woodside's re-opening open house in late January proved to be a big hit. Gayle Buckman says between 800 and 1,000 people showed up to christen the historic lodge. Among them were the grandson of the original architect and the co-owner of the Woodside in the 1940s, the latter of which is now in her late 90s. Needless to say, there were plenty of pictures of the inn and manor from when Schwenksville enjoyed its heyday. With the lodge re-opened, the Buckmans hope for similar pictures in the future.  

Writer: Andy Sharpe
Sources: Gayle and Rick Buckman

New Year's resolution: Connecting the city and its suburbs with a trail

As we stare at a new year, it looks like one of the hottest trends in recreation and transportation will continue. Yes, we're talking about a new trail. Specifically, trail advocates are looking at a labyrinth of rights-of-way through Northwest Philadelphia and southeastern Montgomery County as fertile ground for bicyclists and pedestrians. The Friends of the Cresheim Trail, which is the advocacy group behind this trail, is planning a big year.

The proposed trail begins in Mount Airy, runs along the border of Mount Airy and Chestnut Hill, and then meanders through Springfield, Cheltenham, and Whitemarsh Townships in Montgomery County, explains Susan Dannenberg, the chair of the Friends of Cresheim Trail. One of the primary hurdles to sculpting the trail is that different proposed segments are currently owned by varying entities. For example, Dannenberg confirms that the desired beginning of the trail in Mount Airy is owned by Fairmount Park, while PECO Energy has control of other parts of the route.

Dannenberg prognosticates that the eight-mile Cresheim Trail will get built one mile at a time. "Trails take a long time to get built," recognizes Dannenberg. She wants to see the Mount Airy segment go into operation first, which begins at the intersection of Allens Lane and Lincoln Drive, near the Allen Lane Train Station. Next, Dannenberg wants to see the portion along well-traveled Cresheim Valley Drive. This would provide access to Germantown Ave., the incoming Chestnut Hill Quaker meetinghouse, and the suburbs.

In order to accomplish anything, the Friends of Cresheim Trail has its work cut out for itself. Dannenberg hopes to apply for tax-exempt non-profit status this year, at which point they can start applying for grants. She would also like to throw house parties at residences near the proposed trail, which would be aimed at offsetting skepticism from trail neighbors. "There are a couple of places where people are concerned about a trail near their houses," admits Dannenberg. Much of the criticism has come from residents of Springfield and Cheltenham Townships.

On the other side of the coin, the proposed trail has an impressive array of supporters. Dannenberg says that the Chestnut Hill Rotary Club and Mt. Airy USA have been vocal supporters in the city. Local Rotarians went so far as to hold an art competition to raise money for the Cresheim Trail. Yet, the trail also has considerable support among Montgomery County institutions, including Cheltenham Township, the Springfield Township Board of Commissioners, and the School District of Springfield Township, which the trail would run through.   

Source: Susan Dannenberg, Friends of Cresheim Trail
Writer: Andy Sharpe

SEPTA's bus fleet to become more eco-friendly thanks to two grants

Despite a budget shortfall, SEPTA will be able to resume purchasing hybrid diesel-electric buses thanks to two grants from the US Department of Transportation. For the first time ever, SEPTA will purchase hybrid 60-foot accordion buses, which are the longest buses in the system. SEPTA’s current assortment of hybrid buses is about 30 percent more fuel efficient than equivalent clean diesel buses.

SEPTA is the beneficiary of $15 million in federal funds to cover the difference in cost between hybrid and clean diesel 60-foot buses. Luther Diggs, who’s in charge of operations at SEPTA, says it will stretch out the acquisition of these longer buses over four years, with the first year’s purchase entirely hybrid. Over the four years, SEPTA will be replacing 155 longer buses, with an option for 65 more. The percent of these that are hybrid will depend on how much more grant money becomes available. 

This opens the possibility that additional bus routes might see these longer buses. "We have some additional need for 60-foot buses," confirms Diggs. He suggests that the Route 47 bus, which was the subject of the failed skip-stop pilot and more successful attempts to speed it up, might end up seeing longer buses. Also, he hints that the extremely well-traveled Route 17 bus, which runs up and down 19th and 20th Sts. in South Philadelphia and across Center City, might be another new candidate for the 60-footers.

Shortly after the $15 million grant was announced, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced another grant of $5 million to pay for additional hybrid 40-foot buses, the most prevalent of SEPTA's fleet. This is welcome news for many local environmentalists, who earlier this year were dismayed to hear that funding difficulties meant SEPTA would cease acquiring standard-size hybrid buses. According to Diggs, SEPTA will resume purchasing these hybrid buses in 2013, and only purchase hybrid 40-foot buses in 2014. 

Diggs is convinced that hybrid buses represent the most financially sensible way for SEPTA to green its bus fleet. Diggs says SEPTA did examine running buses using compressed natural gas (CNG) in the mid-1990s. However, hybrid buses were ruled more effective than their CNG counterparts because of "infrastructure, residential neighborhoods, and cost," says Diggs. While some transit agencies in California and Texas use CNG, there are legitimate concerns about the cost of putting in CNG infrastructure and the health risks associated with natural gas.  

Source: Luther Diggs, SEPTA
Writer: Andy Sharpe 

SEPTA prepares for vote on new way to pay on Regional Rail

At a press conference this past week, SEPTA announced that its Board will be voting on an ambitious plan to modernize the Regional Rail fare structure in September or October. This comes after the Regional Rail Fare Policy Advisory Group, which consisted of 14 suburban and urban transportation planners and transit activists and had been meeting since May, released a report concerning SEPTA’s New Payment Technologies proposal.

However, before the Board votes on reforming Regional Rail payment, SEPTA wants more input from riders. To this end, SEPTA has placed a brief survey soliciting opinions about New Payment Technologies on its website. The authority has also promoted the survey in stations and vehicles. John McGee, SEPTA’s chief officer of New Payment Technologies, is eager to see rail riders participate in the survey. This survey "really impacts what we’re doing," said McGee. "It will help us lay out the foundation of a gated railroad system."

For Regional Rail riders, conductors, and engineers, the installation of turnstiles in the five designated Center City stations, which are Temple University, Market East, Suburban, 30th Street, and University City Stations, may be the most noticeable proposed change.

Because of this, the addition of turnstiles is also proving controversial.

"Turnstiles are both a physical and psychological barrier to riding the train," said Matt Mitchell, a director at the Delaware Valley Association of Rail Passengers (DVARP) and a vocal member of the advisory group. "They slow down people as they’re rushing to catch the train." Yet, SEPTA remains eager to install turnstiles and gates. "We’ll buy gates soon after the Board vote in September or October," pointed out McGee.

Another notable aspect of New Payment Technology concerning Regional Rail is that, if approved by the SEPTA Board, riders to some stations closer to Center City will have to pay for traveling further, and then collect a refund when they disembark the train. McGee looked to brush off skepticism about this for riders paying with credit or debit cards. "The refund will be instantaneous for contactless credit and debit card users," reassured McGee.

It is important to add that many of these proposed changes are still at least a couple of years away. Also, some of the changes are not even etched in marble yet. "We’re still open," said McGee. "That's why we’re asking for wider input."

This means that debates over whether fares will be collected in one or both directions and what to do about paying with cash and transferring vehicles are not over. 

Source: John McGee, SEPTA
Writer: Andy Sharpe

SEPTA's Pass Perks connecting riders with businesses, expanding in October

Next time you swipe your SEPTA Trans- or Trailpass, you might be getting more than just a ride. In fact, SEPTA has a program called Pass Perks, where you can use your SEPTA pass to get discounts and freebies from Philadelphia-area stores, restaurants, and other establishments.

SEPTA's Director of Marketing, Richard DiLullo, is proud of the work his office has done to make Pass Perks successful. "It's a win-win for everybody," said DiLullo. DiLullo was especially eager to point out how many businesses found out about and decided to join Pass Perks on their own, as SEPTA has done very "little solicitation to businesses." DiLullo said SEPTA will be expanding its Pass Perks promotion come October.

Businesses that participate in SEPTA Pass Perks seem proud to do so. "Connecting SEPTA riders with neighborhood businesses helps to revitalize and stabilize our commercial corridors," said Ken Weinstein, owner of Mt. Airy's Trolley Car Diner and Deli and Chair of the Mt. Airy Business Improvement District. "I would encourage my fellow small business owners to participate."

Indeed, it looks like many businesses have opted to enroll in Pass Perks, as the program's website shows 159 businesses. These businesses are quite varied, including restaurants, shops, museums, and hotels, and can be found all over Southeastern Pennsylvania.

SEPTA's DiLullo pointed out just how valuable some of the perks can be. Upon searching the Pass Perks website, it didn't take him long to find a $250 mortgage incentive reimbursement being offered as a perk. Another quirky bargain pass perk is $60 savings for a first visit at Quest Chiropractic. DiLullo made sure to say that SEPTA is always willing to explore "co-promotional opportunities," and added that his agency has a part-time employee who contacts local chambers of commerce.

Both Trolley Car Diner and SEPTA reiterated the importance of linking businesses with alternative modes of transportation. "The connection between business and sustainable transportation should be stronger than it is," said Trolley Car's Weinstein. "At Trolley Car Diner, our customers and staff rely on SEPTA to get to the restaurants on a daily basis."

Source: Richard DiLullo, SEPTA Pass Perks
Writer: Andy Sharpe

An $8.5 million cancer center coming soon to East Norriton's Mercy Suburban Hospital

In mid-September 2010, the suburban community of East Norriton, Montgomery County, became a significantly healthier area. That's when the Montgomery Health System broke ground on a 363,000-square-foot hospital in East Norriton that will also include a separate 75,000-square-foot administrative building. All told, it's a $350 million project.

A development project of that scale, of course, would be big news for nearly any community in the region, not to mention one that is home to less than 14,000 residents. And yet just last month, the area experienced another healthcare-related turn of events when it was announced that the East Norriton-based Mercy Suburban Hospital would be replacing its off-site cancer center with a new, state-of-the-art cancer facility that will be located right on its hospital grounds. According to Jeff Snyder, CEO of Mercy Suburban Hospital, the new facility will "consolidate all physician and cancer services for diagnostics, treatment and support care into one brand-new, convenient location on the main campus of the hospital."

Construction of the two-story, $8.5 million development is scheduled to begin this summer, and there's little doubt it will prove to be one of the Greater Philadelphia area's most critical cancer treatment centers. According to Snyder, the advanced radiation treatment offered at the facility will be conducted with cutting-edge technology, including Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) and RapidArc technology. Plans are also in place to create a healing garden where patients can relax and reflect; there will also be a 50-seat conference center onsite where both educational programming and occasional health screenings will take place.

Source: Jeff Snyder, Mercy Suburban Hospital
Writer: Dan Eldridge

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Pennsylvania Department of General Services greenlights Graterford Prison project

Built in 1929, Skippack's Graterford State Prison has housed hundreds of thousands of inmates. And like many prisoners past and present at this maximum security facility, the proposal to rebuild Graterford to its former glory looked like it might be locked up in litigation or even facing a death sentence as recently as last week. After entering bids for the $365 million project, a group of builders successfully sued the state Department of General Services on Sept. 1, alleging that the Department violated state law by limiting the number of construction companies considered. But this week, after nearly a year of court battles, the Department selected Walsh Construction and Heery International as principal builders, keeping the tentative opening date of March 2014.

"The need for the prison was based on inmate population exceeding available capacity, as determined by the State Department of Corrections," says PA Department of General Services Secretary Elizabeth O'Reilly. "This is not a recent development. It has been going on for at least several years."

The Graterford project is part of a state-wide initiative to add 9,000 beds to the overcrowded state prison system. The Walsh/Heery proposal calls for a maximum security ward, as well as a smaller, medium-security facility, with a total capacity of just over 4,000 male inmates. If successful, Graterford will become Pennsylvania's first LEED-certified prison, utilizing storm water runoff and local, low-impact materials.  

"It is a prison so there can't be many design initiatives but it will be a LEED-certified prison, which is not typical, especially in the commonwealth," says O'Reilly. "It's pretty exciting."

Source: Elizabeth O'Reilly, PA Department of General Services
Writer: John Steele

A video survey draws attention to repairing Rt. 422, explores tolling possibilities

In the past decade, traffic on US Route 422 has increased by 50 percent. The highway spur that connects Hershey to King of Prussia has seen many efforts to reduce traffic--from narrowing lanes to adding a third lane in some sections--go nowhere. After publishing a master plan for 422, which included an extension to SEPTA's R6 as well as several roadway improvements, municipalities were stuck on the issue of tolling, a measure many municipalities originally opposed.

To explore the tolling possibility, a group of local and regional government agencies created the 422plus Project, an outreach campaign to create awareness and get public reaction. For their latest effort, project officials tapped former Fox 29 features reporter Gerald Kolpan to create a video survey gauging public reaction to tolling and the proposed 422 improvements.

"When people hear the word 'toll' they are generally upset and don't want to pay it," says Kolpan. "But one of the things we found out was that, if you ask the question correctly, people really weren't averse to paying. If the money that is raised on 422 stays on 422 and doesn't end up in some project in Western Pennsylvania, Harrisburg or Washington, only one person we talked to said they would be opposed."

Talking with business leaders and everyday drivers, Kolpan gets a man-on-the-street view of everything from traffic to tolls. Beyond where the money is going, Kolpan says, citizens worry that toll booths will further congest traffic and prefer some sort of automatic system, like high-speed EZ-Pass transponders for all drivers. The video survey and the 422plus Project's other efforts will culminate in a final report on the pros and cons of tolling, which will be released in 2011.

"One of the biggest problems that people have is that they don't have any alternative to driving, unless you want to take a horse or a bicycle," says Kolpan. "Fixing 422 is very important to them and they are waiting to see what the findings are."

Source: Gerald Kolpan, 422plus Project
Writer: John Steele

SEPTA receives $6.4M in federal grants to develop transit asset management system

Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey announced last Tuesday that Pennsylvania would receive $47 million in federal transit and infrastructure grants as part of the Federal Transit Administration's State of Good Repair program. As SEPTA updated its hybrid bus fleet two years ago, the lion's share of the funding went to Pittsburgh's Allegheny County Port Authority for a clean diesel fleet of their own. But SEPTA didn't come away empty handed, receiving $8.1 million for two infrastructure improvements a long time coming.

The first grant will revamp SEPTA's Parkside Bus Loop, helping reconnect this West Philly neighborhood. But the second, more universal improvement will aid in future upgrades. Using $6.4 million, SEPTA will install an asset management system to aid in record-keeping as many of Philadelphia's transit assets come up for repairs.

"A lot of our infrastructure dates back to the early 1900's and were taken over from other private companies," says SEPTA CFO Richard Burnfield. "What the FTA was trying to focus on is knowing what you have out there in the field before you can make an assessment as to what your overall needs are, coming up with a plan for when things should be replaced."

The system will help SEPTA keep better records so when funding is available, the authority can make a more organized, more compelling case for further federal dollars as the fleet is upgraded.

"Right now, we do a very good job of managing our assets so while the records are not as computerized as we'd like them to be, we have so much knowledge within our engineering staff that I feel we make excellent decisions," says Burnfield. "But I think this will help us going forward so we can do a second check on things as our staff reaches retirement."

Source: Richard Burnfield, SEPTA
Writer: John Steele

Amtrak stops at 30th Street Station to announce high-speed rail plan

In science fiction novels and books about the future, a few technologies are boilerplate: flying cars, meals in pill form and the ability to teleport instantly from place to place. National commuter rail company Amtrak took another step toward teleportation on Tuesday with its announcement of a high-speed rail vision plan. In Tuesday's news conference from University City's 30th Street Station, with Governor Ed Rendell on hand, Amtrak officials laid out their goal to create a line with average speeds well over 130 mph, saving passengers between one and two hours on average.

"Amtrak is putting forward a bold vision of a realistic and attainable future that can revolutionize transportation, travel patterns and economic development in the Northeast for generations," says Amtrak President and CEO Joseph Boardman.

The plan, entitled A Vision for High-Speed Rail in the Northeast Corridor, proposes a full build-out to be completed by 2040. Its construction, Amtrak says, would create more than 40,000 full-time jobs annually over a 25-year period, building new track, tunnels, bridges, stations, and other infrastructure. Predictably, the cost for such a project is high, $4.7 billion annually over 25 years. But Amtrak's feasibility studies peg the Northeast as a "mega-region" capable of drawing the type of rail traffic to make such an investment profitable. And with some premier legislative voices like New Jersey's Frank Lautenberg and Massachusetts' John Kerry already voicing their support, we may be teleporting out of 30th Street Station sooner than we think.

"Amtrak's High Speed Rail plan will create jobs, cut pollution and help us move towards a modern and reliable transportation system network in the Northeast," said Kerry in a recent statement. "As countries around the world continue to build out their transportation systems, we
cannot afford to fall further behind. This is an important down payment on the massive commitment necessary to bridge our infrastructure gap." 

Source: Joseph Boardman, Amtrak
Writer: John Steele

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