Amtrak selected Herzog Contracting Corp. to design and construct a heavy maintenance facility at its Penn Coach Yard in Philadelphia, the passenger rail operator announced March 1.

The facility will service Acela and Northeast Regional trains operating on the Northeast Corridor, according to Amtrak. Laura Mason, its executive vice president of capital delivery, said in a statement that construction is expected to start this year. 

“This new facility will speed up train maintenance and reduce turnaround times, providing Amtrak customers with more reliable and frequent service,” she said.

The project is the first of five maintenance facility upgrade projects for which Amtrak plans to award contracts this year. The others are located in Seattle; Washington, D.C.; New York City and Boston. It also plans a project for its facility in Rensselaer, N.Y. 

Amtrak is funding the projects using money from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. 

An Amtrak spokesperson could not immediately provide the contract value or estimated project cost, but said the six facility projects will cost more than $1 billion combined. 

Amtrak says it plans to spend about $5.5 billion this year on various projects including these rail yard upgrades, plus infrastructure projects such as the Frederick Douglass Tunnel Program in Baltimore and station improvements. 

Plans for Philadelphia also include renovations to its historic William H. Gray III 30th Street Station. Construction started in January on that $550-million project, led by design-build contractor Gilbane Building Co.