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Friday, March 22, 2013    

Amtrak, Pennsylvania agree to continue rail service


Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett and Amtrak officials have agreed to a new funding plan that will maintain passenger-rail service between Pittsburgh, Harrisburg and Philadelphia, the governor announced yesterday.

Under the revised agreement, Pennsylvania will contribute $3.8 million a year to maintain the "Pennsylvanian" service, which operates one train daily in each direction between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh. The service continues to and from Philadelphia and New York City.

"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," said Corbett in a prepared statement.

The agreement will require Amtrak to recover more costs for the service than it has in the past. Initial funding estimates totaled $6.5 million a year, according to Corbett's press release.

Amtrak President and Chief Executive Officer Joseph Boardman said in a prepared statement that the pact will preserve the Pennsylvanian service.

U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), who chairs the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, hailed the agreement.

"This is an example of how partnerships between states and Amtrak can produce savings while maintaining service," he said in a prepared statement.

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