Campaign for a Second Train (2013-present)

September 2023

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.

PennDOT/Norfolk Southern finalize expanded western PA passenger rail service agreement

June 2022

Governor Tom Wolf announces that PennDOT and Norfolk Southern have reached an agreement to expand passenger rail access in western Pennsylvania.

Governor Wolf announces PennDOT, Norfolk Southern agreement to expand western PA passenger rail service

February 2022

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.

Governor Wolf: Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Allows PennDOT, Norfolk Southern to Move Toward Improved Freight and Passenger Rail Service in Western Pa.

Amtrak Pennsylvanian RTC Analysis Final Report (Norfolk Southern):


November 2021

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.

Johnstown's $24M transportation grant is state's biggest winner | News | tribdem.com

September 2021

June 2021

WPPR representative testifies before the PA Senate Transportation Committee in Pittsburgh.

May 2021

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.

TRAINS. MORE CITIES. - Better Service.

April 2021

WPPR representative testifies before the PA House Democratic Policy Committee virtually.

August 2020

Spring/Summer 2020

PennDOT and Norfolk Southern sign a contract to do a feasibility study of Harrisburg to Pittsburgh rail corridor.

February 2020

WPPR produces its Passenger Rail 2040 Vision, a look at potential passenger rail improvements along the Pennsylvanian corridor over 20 years.

October 2019

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).

August 2019

WPPR and PDP TMA representatives testify before the PA House Transportation Committee in Altoona.

September 2018

Deputy Secretary Granger (now Jennie Louwerse) meets in Pittsburgh with representatives from communities along Pennsylvanian line to discuss additional passenger rail service.

July 2018

Jennie Granger (now Jennie Louwerse) appointed PennDOT's Deputy Secretary for Multimodal Transportation.

October 2016

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.

August 2016

WPPR, PDP TMA, and other passenger rail advocates testify at the PA House Transportation Committee hearing in Pittsburgh on passenger rail and the Pennsylvanian.

May 2016

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)

March 2015

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


December 2014

The I.R.S. recognizes WPPR as a 501(c)(3) organization.

April 2014

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.

November 2013

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.

What is Pennsylvania's Transportation Bill (Act 89)? - WHYY

October 2013

      (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)

May 2013

WPPR representative testifies before the PA House Transportation Committee in Pittsburgh.

April 2013

WPPR representative testifies before the PA House Transportation Committee in Harrisburg.

March 2013

       (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.

      PennDOT says it will fund Amtrak's Pittsburgh-Harrisburg line | TribLIVE.com

      (2) Lewistown rally in support of Pennsylvanian on same day as PennDOT announcement.

      Amtrak, Pa agree on price for Pa rail line | State College News | collegian.psu.edu

      (3) Huntingdon rally in support of Pennsylvanian held in early March.

      Residents rally for train | News, Sports, Jobs - Altoona Mirror

November 2012

WPPR rally in Johnstown in support of continuing service of Pennsylvanian.

      Budget cuts threaten to derail Amtrak service - Johnstown Tribune-Democrat


Pre-WPPR (2005-2010)

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.

June 2009

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.

February 2009

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.

October 2008

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.

March 2005

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.