It's been talked about for at least twenty years and Monday morning politicans were out in force to announce a big (but largely invisible to the public) step forward in building a new Paoli Transportation Center.
Tredyffrin, Willistown, County and State politicians held a 7:30 a.m. news conference Monday to announce that the planning stage of the project is getting underway.
The proposed new train station and parking garages would be built on the north side of the Amtrak-owned rail line that also services SEPTA's Paoli-Thorndale line. The announcement essentially announced that survey work is about to begin around the current Paoli Train Station and on the proposed site, in the lot that sits across the tracks from Paoli Village Shoppes.
The project is not a simple one and it involves numerous levels and layers of government bureacracy from Tredyffrin and Willistown townships to Chester County to the Pennsylvania State and up to the Federal Governments.
So, when will there be a new train station?
The first phase will be to do the survey work. That then leads to design, approval of plans and finally construction. Tredyffrin Township Board of Supervisors Vice Chairman John "J.D." DiBuonaventuro says it's impossible to say exactly how long it will be before there is a groundbreaking on the propossed new station and parking garages.
The buildings themselves will be designed and built by SEPTA. Tredyffrin Township is responsible for overseeing the infrastructure and roads in and around the new station site.
Amtrak must also do extensive work on the actual rails, including moving an interlock system which allows trains to switch tracks. Amtrak also plans to replace the electrical wire towers along the Main Line from the Philadelphia Zoo area to west of Paoli.
Planning phase includes getting your opinions
Tredyffrin Township also plans to hold public hearings on the proposal for a new Paoli Transportation Center starting this fall. According to a news releas:
A public outreach program will begin later this summer when the website Paoli On The Move will be launched. The website will include information about all of the components underway in Paoli. Initial community meetings are slated for Fall 2012 to obtain input and feedback on the project from local residents, businesses and commuters.
Anyone interested in getting on a township mailing list to get information about hearings and updates on the project should send contact information to email@example.com.
Click on the pdf attached to this article to read the full press release from Tredyffrin Township.