PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — With new concrete supporting the rails, the retaining wall restored, fresh tracks and powerlines in place, a Port Authority Light Rail Train arrived around 2 o’clock Wednesday afternoon to test the rebuilt section leading into the Station Square Station.
“The testing went very well, all the tracks, the overhead lines and signals are working the way they should be,” Port Authority Spokesman Adam Brandoff said.
Because of that, Brandoff says outbound service will Thursday morning.
Good news: We plan to reopen the outbound tracks of Station Square Station tomorrow morning. The inbound will continue to use the former Allentown line for some final testing. We plan to reopen the inbound side this weekend.
— Port Authority PGH (@PGHtransit) August 22, 2018
Inbound is another issue.
“We are going to continue to run the service over Allentown, probably until this weekend when we hope to restore service inbound at Station Square,” Brandoff said.
The reopening comes less than three weeks after a freight train derailed and fell onto the Station Square tracks below.
Over the last 13-days, contractors and Port Authority employees have replaced more than 1,600 feet of light rail track, 4,000 feet of overhead power lines, and a 5,000-pound line support frame.
More than 2,400 rail passengers use Station Square and more than 30,000 riders use the light rail system daily said the Port Authority.
In a press release Port Authority’s CEO Katharine Kelleman said: “The freight train derailment has disrupted so many people’s lives and I’d like to thank riders for being so patient while we repaired the damage. I also wish to thank the many Port Authority employees and contractors who worked hard to restore service to our riders as quickly as possible.”
Restoring the outbound service should save commuters up to a half hour when the trains use the transit tunnel, rather than mixing with traffic on the streets of Allentown.
Meanwhile, the Port Authority is going to be taking a closer look at how to protect the Station Square T Station, its tracks and riders from the Norfolk Southern Trains above.
“This is the first time that it [a derailment] has happened in at least 50 years, but it is something we’ll be looking at going forward,” says Brandoff.
The restoration of T service to Station Square comes about two weeks ahead of the projected schedule.
Riders with questions about the reopening or service changes should call 412-442-2000 or 412-231-7007 for TTY.