By Bennett Levin, P.E., Railway Age Magazine; February 10, 2020
How can the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania be freed from Amtrak’s abusive monopoly on intercity passenger rail service? This editorial is based on my Dec. 17, 2019 testimony before the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Transportation Committee, during which I spoke about creating viable rail passenger opportunities for Western Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia-Harrisburg corridor that could serve as a template for other states currently paying for Amtrak service under the bizarre federal legislation called PRIIA.
Improving rail passenger service in Western Pennsylvania has been the subject of multiple studies since 2005. Advocacy groups in the Pittsburgh region have attempted to get additional frequencies of passenger train service in the corridor stretching from Pittsburgh to Latrobe and Greensburg, continuing on to Johnstown and Altoona. Their efforts have not yielded any tangible results.