Amtrak Inspector General looking at Washington Union Station project

By STEPHANIE BEASLEY, With help from Tanya Snyder and Lauren Gardner, Politico Morning Transportation; July 30, 2018

UNION STATION PROJECTS GET THE SNIFF TEST: Amtrak is investing about $296 million in improvements for Washington’s Union Station, its second-busiest terminal, but the projects seem destined for delays and cost overruns due to weak “scheduling, cost estimating and project management,” according to an inspector general report. Amtrak’s watchdog arm noted that the railroad has struggled to deliver projects on time and within budget, and that schedules for all 10 of its Union Station modernization projects were incomplete and “missing the key activities necessary to accomplish the project’s objectives.” Additionally, the rail company had not updated cost estimates nor fully developed project charters and risk mitigation plans, among other items, the IG said. It recommended Amtrak address those issues by fully adopting project management standards developed by its Enterprise Program Management Office. Amtrak agreed with the recommendations. “Because most projects are just entering the construction phase, the company has time to address the weaknesses and mitigate risks by putting these standards in place,” a spokesman for Amtrak’s IG office said.

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