Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett announced today that the state had reached an agreement with Amtrak on a new funding plan which would keep Amtrak’s Pennsylvanian running between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh. (See Looming Funding Cuts Threaten Amtrak’s Pennsylvanian.)
The revised agreement between the two parties will mean that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will have to pay $3.8 million per year to Amtrak to continue operation of the Pennsylvanian, the once a day train each way between Pittsburgh and New York City, and connecting the cities of Harrisburg and Philadelphia. Before the amended deal, the state would have required to pay $5.7 million to continue Amtrak service west of Harrisburg. Currently, the state pays nothing towards the train, however the Pennsylvanian was subject of a new funding agreement requiring states to contribute more towards the Amtrak trains which service them.
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.”