Campaign for a Second Train (2013-present)
PennDOT announced it has finalized the agreement with Norfolk Southern (NS) for infrastructure improvements that will lead to expanded western PA passenger rail service with a second daily Pennsylvanian.
Governor Tom Wolf announces that PennDOT and Norfolk Southern have reached an agreement to expand passenger rail access in western Pennsylvania.
Governor Tom Wolf, PennDOT Deputy Secretary for Multimodal Transportation Jennie Louwerse, Federal Railroad Administration Administrator Amit Bose, Norfolk Southern (NS) Regional Vice President Rudy Husband and others announce collaboration to develop an operating agreement to finalize improvements required to increase passenger-rail service west of Harrisburg.
Amtrak Pennsylvanian RTC Analysis Final Report (Norfolk Southern):
Johnstown is awarded a major federal grant from the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program. Of the nearly $25 million allocated to Johnstown, $11.2 million will be used to restore the historic train station.
- Norfolk Southern delivers completed feasibility study to PennDOT.
- Governor Wolf announces at an Amtrak media event that he supports a second trip on the Pennsylvanian.
Gov. Wolf Joins Amtrak, State and Local Leaders to Discuss Transportation Vision for Commonwealth
WPPR representative testifies before the PA Senate Transportation Committee in Pittsburgh.
Amtrak issues its corridor vision calling for the following: Pennsylvanian New York – Philadelphia – Harrisburg – Pittsburgh – Cleveland. This creates a second Pennsylvanian frequency extending into Ohio, thereby creating a new interstate Pittsburgh-Cleveland corridor, as well as expansion from 1 to 2 round trips between New York – Philadelphia – Pittsburgh, PA.
WPPR representative testifies before the PA House Democratic Policy Committee virtually.
- WPPR representative testifies before the PA House Transportation Committee virtually.
- PennDOT completes Lewistown Junction Station Study.
Planning Committee analyzes Lewistown Train Station study | News, Sports, Jobs - Williamsport Sun-Gazette
PennDOT and Norfolk Southern sign a contract to do a feasibility study of Harrisburg to Pittsburgh rail corridor.
WPPR produces its Passenger Rail 2040 Vision, a look at potential passenger rail improvements along the Pennsylvanian corridor over 20 years.
PennDOT Deputy Secretary Jennie Granger (now Jennie Louwerse) meets with community development officials, WPPR representatives and PDP TMA staff in Johnstown to discuss PennDOT contracting with Norfolk Southern for a feasibility study of one additional train between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg (meeting minutes).
Deputy Secretary Granger (now Jennie Louwerse) meets in Pittsburgh with representatives from communities along Pennsylvanian line to discuss additional passenger rail service.
Jennie Granger (now Jennie Louwerse) appointed PennDOT's Deputy Secretary for Multimodal Transportation.
WPPR advocates for HR1103 in the Pennsylvania legislature, “Directing the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to conduct a study of the feasibility of providing two additional passenger rail trips daily between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg and its impact on existing freight rail service.” The study is authorized, but funding is never appropriated.
WPPR, PDP TMA, and other passenger rail advocates testify at the PA House Transportation Committee hearing in Pittsburgh on passenger rail and the Pennsylvanian.
Modern Transit Partnership, a Harrisburg-based commuter rail coalition, hosts luncheon in support of more Pennsylvanian service with Governor Wolf as speaker.
Fall 2015 – Fall 2016
WPPR and PDP TMA hold meetings in communities along Pennsylvanian line and solicit letters of support. Over 30 organizations along Pennsylvanian corridor respond with letters of support to the Governor, their legislators and the PennDOT Secretary advocating support of more service. (Letters of endorsement)
Keystone West High Speed Rail Study released by PennDOT.
High-speed rail cost in billions, PennDOT study says; Johnstown, Altoona among stops | Latest News | tribdem.com
The I.R.S. recognizes WPPR as a 501(c)(3) organization.
WPPR and Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership (PDP) Transportation Management Association (TMA) issue On Track to Accessibility, Increasing Service of the Pennsylvanian: Benefits and Cost, a feasibility study proposing three daily trains on the Pennsylvanian corridor.
Pennsylvania legislature passes Act 89, a state transportation funding act that includes state funding for Pennsylvanian. Act 89 sets up the Multimodal Deputate within PennDOT which manages passenger rail and all other non-highway and bridge transportation modes.
(1) WPPR incorporated in Pennsylvania as a nonprofit “to promote the development, expansion, utility and use of passenger rail transportation serving the portion of Pennsylvania west of Harrisburg.”
(2) PRIIA deadline for states with short distance rail lines to declare their willingness to manage those rail lines.
WPPR Formed/Campaign to Save the Pennsylvanian (2011-2013)
WPPR representative testifies before the PA House Transportation Committee in Pittsburgh.
WPPR representative testifies before the PA House Transportation Committee in Harrisburg.
(1) PennDOT announces that the Commonwealth will pay $3.8 million to keep the Pennsylvanian in operation for one year. Additional years’ funding is contingent upon passage of the state transportation funding bill.
(2) Lewistown rally in support of Pennsylvanian on same day as PennDOT announcement.
(3) Huntingdon rally in support of Pennsylvanian held in early March.
WPPR rally in Johnstown in support of continuing service of Pennsylvanian.
2009 – 2010
Informal meetings in Pittsburgh of passenger rail advocates concerned about the Pennsylvanian’s future under PRIIA and desirous of additional passenger rail service between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh Field Hearing of US House Transportation Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines & Hazardous Materials. Topic of the field hearing was “Expanding Passenger Rail Service" with testimony from western Pennsylvania passenger rail advocates of the need for more passenger rail service to western Pennsylvania.
PennDOT receives federal funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to fund a feasibility study on enhancing passenger rail service on the Keystone Corridor West between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh.
Passage of the federal Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act (PRIIA) of 2008. Section §201 creates the concept of “state-supported routes”, those of 750 miles or less. Any operating costs in excess of revenues for each short distance rail line are to be covered by the state in which the short distance rail line operates. To keep their short distance trains, states could choose to take on their net operating cost and management.
Amtrak’s Three Rivers train discontinued. Amtrak daily train service between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh just one train daily, the lowest amount of train service on this route in Amtrak’s history.