The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

March 21, 2013

Agreement saves passenger train

— Gov. Tom Corbett said Thursday that he has reached an agreement with Amtrak on a new funding plan that would maintain rail passenger service in Johnstown.

Under the revised agreement with Amtrak, Pennsylvania’s contribution would 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.

Amtrak’s initial estimate of $6.5 million a year to maintain service of the train was pared down through negotiations.

A number of passenger trains run between Harrisburg and Philadelphia and on to New York City. Those trains were not threatened.

“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.

U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Hollidaysburg, said he is pleased that Amtrak and the state came together to preserve the Pennsylvanian’s service.

“From the start, I urged both Pennsylvania and Amtrak to sit down and come up with a plan that makes sense for both parties,” Shuster said.

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, a Democrat, said he is pleased that an agreement has been reached to preserve the Pittsburgh to Harrisburg line.

“Rail transportation is a key part of our state’s economy, and this news is a win for travelers and businesses who use this line,” he said.

The Pennsylvanian stops include Johnstown, Altoona, Huntingdon and Greensburg.

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