Governor Tom Corbett announced today that he has reached an
agreement with Amtrak on a new funding plan that will maintain rail passenger service between Pittsburgh, Harrisburg and Philadelphia.
Under the revised agreement with Amtrak, Pennsylvania's contribution will be $3.8 million a year to maintain the service on the line known as the "Pennsylvanian,'' featuring one train a day in each direction between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh. The through service continues to and from Philadelphia and New York City.
"I applaud Amtrak for its willingness to work with my administration on a funding plan that makes sense for Pennsylvania in these difficult economic times and maintains this passenger rail service that provides important connections for many towns in western Pennsylvania," Corbett said.
The service, which the commonwealth restored in the early 1980s working with Amtrak, is subject to a new funding agreement that requires Amtrak to recover more costs than it did previously. Initial funding estimates for funding the "Pennsylvanian'' totaled $6.5 million a year.
The new level falls within the capabilities of the Governor's transportation plan and means service west of Harrisburg, with stations in Lewistown, Huntingdon, Altoona Johnstown and Greensburg, can be maintained.
"It is important that the state legislature act this spring to advance my
transportation plan so we can meet this funding need,'' Corbett said.
"I am committed to finding sensible solutions that recognize the constraints we in government face, but at the same time provide needed services," Corbett said.
"This new arrangement meets those criteria and I am happy that PennDOT and Amtrak were able to come to a revised agreement."