Amtrak increasing service for Pope’s visit

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Amtrak is planning to increase its service in the Northeast during the Pope’s scheduled visit to the U.S. in September. 

The company said Friday that it’s planning to run extra trains on Sept. 26-27 and add cars to make existing ones longer on Sept. 21-25 to handle the expected increase in passenger traffic due to the Pope’s visit. 

“Amtrak is taking steps to prepare for an influx of rail passengers on the Northeast Corridor during Pope Francis’ visit to the United States in September and will operate extra trains with added capacity to meet the anticipated demand,” the company said in a statement. 

{mosads}”With papal events scheduled in New York, Philadelphia and Washington, Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor is uniquely suited to carry passengers to and from the various locations,” the statement continued.

The pope is scheduled to visit Washington, D.C., New York and Philadelphia on Sept. 22-27. He will give a speech to a joint session of Congress on Sept. 24 and also speak on Sept. 26 at Philadelphia’s Independence Hall and deliver a mass sermon on the city’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway on Sept. 27. 

“With more than a million people expected to attend an outdoor Mass and other events associated with the World Meeting of Families on September 26 and 27, the [adjusted] schedule includes additional frequencies and special stops for that weekend,” Amtrak said. “As Philadelphia 30th Street Station is expected to be a focal point for regional transportation, passengers should expect large crowds and some non-typical station procedures.

“To better ensure efficient train movements for all users of the NEC, Amtrak will suspend maintenance activities, pre-position rescue equipment to quickly respond to any disabled trains, and continuously share real-time dispatching information with our regional transit agency partners,” the company continued.  

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