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Lawmakers look to expand Amtrak service in western PA

Written by David Payne/Radio Pennsylvania | May 11, 2017 6:24 PM
Amtrak train

(Harrisburg) -- Amtrak trains between Harrisburg and Philadelphia have proven their worth, and now Pennsylvania lawmakers say it's time to look at the other side of the state.

There is currently only one Amtrak train, the Pennsylvanian, operating daily between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, but the Senate Transportation Committee has approved a resolution to gauge the feasibility of additional service.

Republican Senator Randy Vulakovich of Allegheny County sponsored the measure, which would direct the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to conduct a study.

"This is all to be prepared for if federal dollars do come around with a transportation bill, an infrastructure bill from the federal government," Vulakovich said, "that we will be prepared to be able to apply for it."

Committee Vice Chair Wayne Langerholc, a Republican representing parts of Bedford, Cambria, and Clearfield counties, said the additional service would help to connect businesses and job seekers in his district-- especially those in the tech field-- with the Pittsburgh market.

"It would greatly increase their pull from that Pittsburgh-area the ability to work," Langerholc said. "And it would greatly impact commerce, increase employment opportunity and overall quality of life."

The study would take about 9 months.

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