Pattye Benson

Community Matters

“Train Station Project Advancing Quickly” — and NO, it’s not Paoli!

I saw this headline in Sunday’s edition of the Daily Local “Train station project advancing quickly”. No, the author was not referring to the Paoli Transportation Center or the Ardmore Transit projects. Was it the Downingtown or Parkesburg train station projects that was advancing?

No, . . . the “advancing” train project was the Coatesville Train Station! According to PennDOT rep Bob Garrett, the train station at Coatesville is officially “ahead of projects in Parkesburg and Downingtown after a few months of hard work”. (No mention made of Paoli Transportation project . . . does PennDOT even know it exists!)

Interesting to note that the Coatesville train station has $16 million in secured funding from state and federal sources for a new train station, pedestrian cross-over and street-scaping. Plus an additional $1.3 million in federal funds to rehab the old station even though there’s no firm use for it.

Remember how excited some of us in the community got about the $1 million funding to the Paoli Transportation Center project, and that was 1-1/2 years ago. I am mystified as to how these other train projects move along through the system and our train project just seems to be quick mired for years and years. When I read that Coatesville gets state and federal funding after a “few months of hard work” . . . you just have to shake your head and wonder don’t you? Doesn’t anyone care about the Paoli transportation project? We know that there is a finite amount of state dollars (and federal dollars) for transportation projects and obviously, no credence is given to ‘time already spent on the list’.

Apparently, the Coatesville train station is not very busy – only 8 trains per day stop at this station! The current Coatesville train station suffers from low ridership and doesn’t have any Amtrak amenities or a place to buy tickets. The idea is that by revitalizing Coatesville and the train station area and adding more stops commuter traffic will increase on the rails.

So again I ask, what about Paoli train station — where are its advocates? There are elected officials pushing Coatesville and Downingtown train station projects; who is really behind Paoli?


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  1. they’ve been talking about it since I was a kid growing up in Paoli. Paoli has ten times the ridership for Amtrak alone. To be fair, Paoli was hamstrung by PCB’s, involves Willistown, TE, Chesco, Amtrak (owner(SEPTA), etc. I’ve often thought Paoli would be better off as a borough like jenkintown and I think this project highlights it. it’s one town, why should two townships argue over what’s best for the town? and don’t let SEPTA control this project or it will a) never get done and b) be botched. I think part of the problem is the complexity, if you do the whole project (interlockings, platforms, substation) it’s expensive. can’t they just build the platforms?

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