Expanding passenger rail access in Western Pennsylvania: a win-win for communities and commerce

Norfolk Southern is building upon its partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) with a new agreement to improve and expand passenger rail access in Western Pennsylvania. This agreement marks a major step forward, enhancing access to modern, safe, and reliable passenger rail for the people of Pennsylvania.

In a press release from PennDOT, Norfolk Southern Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer Mike McClellan emphasized the win-win nature of the agreement. "Norfolk Southern is excited to build upon our partnership with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania by increasing passenger rail options for the citizens of Pennsylvania while improving the resilience of our infrastructure for the shippers in the Commonwealth. This is a win-win agreement that would not be possible without the dedication and collaboration of our state officials, who share our vision for enhanced rail service across the Keystone State.”

With a focus on improving transportation to Western Pennsylvania, this initiative aims to reduce commute times, foster connectivity among residents, and stimulate local economies. The Pennsylvanian Amtrak line, currently operating one daily roundtrip between New York City and Pittsburgh via Harrisburg, will soon offer twice-daily services.

PennDOT Secretary Mike Carroll expressed the significance of this agreement, highlighting its dual purpose of expanding passenger rail while preserving vital freight rail corridors. “This agreement lays the groundwork for expanded passenger rail service in Western Pennsylvania while simultaneously preserving a critical freight rail corridor. Ensuring more Pennsylvanians have access to safe and reliable transportation to Western PA will reduce commute times, help connect hundreds of thousands of residents, and boost local economies. This expansion of service on the Pennsylvanian will provide key mobility and economic benefits.”

To support this expansion, the Commonwealth will invest over $200 million in infrastructure and safety upgrades, with Norfolk Southern leading construction and maintenance efforts. Grant applications submitted to the Federal Railroad Administration will assist in financing these crucial improvements.

Read the full press release here.