Pact Reached to Keep Pennsylvanian Running

Amtrak and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have reached an agreement that will keep the Pennsylvanian operating between Pittsburgh and New York.

The train had been threatened with discontinuance this fall after state transportation officials had indicated that they were loath to pay the additional cost of keeping the train going.

The Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 required states to pick up a much larger share of the operating costs of trains operating 705 or fewer miles.

Under the formula established by Amtrak, Pennsylvania would have had to pay $6.5 million annually. However, the state and Amtrak reached an agreement that will lower the state’s payment to to $3.8 million.

Amtrak will pick up about 12 percent of the costs with the remainder coming from ticket revenues.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that it is too early to know if fares or schedules will change because of the agreement. The Keystone service between Harrisburg and Philadelphia is also expected to remain unchanged.

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