Cost of Harrisburg-Pittsburgh high-speed rail could be $1.5B

Written by The Associated Press | Feb 13, 2015 4:56 PM

Photo by AP Photo/David Boe

(Harrisburg) -- A new Pennsylvania Department of Transportation study shows that a high-speed passenger rail connection between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh could cost anywhere from $1.5 billion to $38 billion.

The study's release begins a six-week period through March 31 during which the agency will accept public comments on it.

Currently, Amtrak's once-a-day Pennsylvanian service takes five-and-a-half hours. High-speed service could cut travel time by an hour.

The $1.5 billion project involves modifying curves using the existing path while maintaining stops in Greensburg, Latrobe, Johnstown, Altoona, Tyrone, Huntingdon and Lewistown, and adding a spur to State College.

The $38 billion alternative includes putting trains on a new electrified, two-track line on a more southern route similar to the Pennsylvania Turnpike. A PennDOT spokeswoman says there is no money identified for the projects.

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