News & Reviews News Wire Plan to allow second ‘Pennsylvanian’ includes 12 new or upgraded NS interlockings

Plan to allow second ‘Pennsylvanian’ includes 12 new or upgraded NS interlockings

By Dan Cupper | March 9, 2022

| Last updated on March 21, 2024

$171 million Harrisburg-Pittsburgh program would add some mainline tracks

Email Newsletter

Get the newest photos, videos, stories, and more from brands. Sign-up for email today!

Passenger train on stone-arch bridge
The eastbound Pennsylvanian crosses the landmark Rockville Bridge over the Susquehanna River near Harrisburg, Pa., on Feb. 14, 2021. Restoring a third track on the bridge, built for four tracks, is part of the plan to improve the route between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg to allow for a second daily Amtrak round trip. Dan Cupper

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Re-laying a third track on the historic Rockville Bridge over the Susquehanna River and building a new 5-mile-long main line track through the Altoona, Pa., yard are part of a proposed Norfolk Southern-Pennsylvania Department of Transportation plan to add a second Pennsylvanian daily passenger train. In addition, the plan would install three new interlockings and expand nine others on NS’s 248-mile long Pittsburgh Line.

The price tag to eliminate eight choke points to minimize freight-train interference with Amtrak service is estimated at $147 million to $171 million. It would be paid for from the $1.2 trillion federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, signed into law by President Joe Biden on Nov. 15.

The proposed improvements are spelled out in an NS report titled “Amtrak Pennsylvanian RTC (Rail Traffic Controller) Analysis.” Details are contained in a 58-page document available at the PennDOT website.

Passenger train with blue and red locomotive passes freight train
Amtrak Train 42, the eastbound Pennsylvanian, behind 50th-anniversary commemorative P42DC unit No. 108, passes CP-Banks Interlocking at Marysville, Pa., on Jan. 18, 2022. This junction, which provides access to NS’s Enola Yard, would be reconfigured as a universal interlocking under a joint NS-PennDOT infrastructure plan. Dan Cupper

Governor Tom Wolf unveiled the broad strokes of the proposal at a Feb. 18 news conference in Pittsburgh, along with PennDOT Deputy Secretary Jennie Louwerse, Federal Railroad Administrator Amit Bose, elected and appointed state officials, and NS personnel [see “Pennsylvania, Norfolk Southern announce pending agreement …,” Trains News Wire, Feb. 18, 2022].

The Pennsylvanian runs for 195 miles between New York and Harrisburg on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor and Keystone Corridor, and for 248 miles between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh on Norfolk Southern’s former Conrail/Penn Central/Pennsylvania Railroad main line.

The Pittsburgh Line, one of the heaviest-density freight routes in America, has in peak years carried as much as 100 million gross ton-miles. While much of the track is good for 79 mph passenger-train speeds, dispatching is complicated by a 40-mile helper district with 1.8 % grades over the spine of the Alleghenies, including the scenic and historic Horseshoe Curve.

Excluding helper moves, the route handles about 45 freights a day. It is double track or more from Harrisburg to Altoona, and three tracks or more (counting the Conemaugh and Port Perry-Mon Line bypass routes) from Altoona to west of Pittsburgh.

At its inception in 1971, Amtrak operated three daily trains over the route, the New York-Pittsburgh Duquesne, the Broadway Limited to Chicago and the National Limited to St. Louis and Kansas City, Mo. After the National was discontinued in 1979, PennDOT added the state-supported Philadelphia-Pittsburgh Pennsylvanian in April 1980, which in 1983 was extended to New York. Since 2005, the New York-Pittsburgh version of the Pennsylvanian has been the Pittsburgh Line’s sole daily Amtrak service.

The NS study, which used computer modeling to simulate passenger and freight traffic, concluded that “Norfolk Southern does not have adequate capacity to operate the proposed new and modified Amtrak schedules without degradation to both Amtrak and NS operations. To mitigate the added delay to both Amtrak and NS trains, and to protect NS priority (expedited) traffic, additional infrastructure is needed.”

Passenger train on track at edge of yard
The westbound Pennsylvanian has left the station at Harrisburg, Pa., and is passing Norfolk Southern’s Harrisburg Intermodal Terminal on July 19, 2019. This is an area where a third mainline track would be installed. Dan Cupper

Forecasting to year 2040, the study assumes adding six merchandise freights and one intermodal train to the mix, all 10,000 to 12,000 feet long.

It left unexplained how NS formerly managed to operate two daily Amtrak passenger trains each way between 1999, when it took over this part of Conrail, and 2004, when Amtrak discontinued a successor to the Broadway named the Three Rivers.

The major operational change since then has been NS’s adoption of TOP21, its version of E. Hunter Harrison’s controversial Precision Scheduled Railroading model. On NS, PSR has produced days-late trains, outlawed crews, shortages of motive power, and wildly unpredictable deliveries for shippers. Shippers have complained to Congress and the Surface Transportation Board, calling for open access, re-regulation, or both.

Clearly, NS will have to get its operational model under control — which new NS President and soon-to-be CEO Alan Shaw has acknowledged to wary federal officials — in order to make reliable scheduling of two Pennsylvanians possible [See “Norfolk Southern reports some headway …,” News Wire, Dec. 13, 2021].

Projects envisioned (and their cost) include:

— Adding a mainline track to the existing two tracks through the Pittsburgh passenger station at CP-Pitt, Milepost 352.5, $12.5 million to $18.5 million.

— Adding a universal three-track interlocking at Milepost PT 276, just west of the Johnstown passenger station, $9.5 million to $11.5 million.

— Installing a universal three-track interlocking at Milepost PT 257, Portage, Pa., $7.8 million to $9.8 million.

— Constructing a new main track for 5 miles through the Altoona area, from CP Altoona, Milepost PT 236.8, to CP Antis, Milepost PT 232.5, $51.5 million to $61.5 million. This would entail upgrading interlockings at CP Altoona, CP Works, CP Homer, and CP Antis, and adding a helper pocket.

— Upgrading nine miles of an existing controlled siding, paralleling the existing double-track main, from CP Antis, Milepost PT 232.5, to CP Gray at Grazierville (Tyrone), Milepost PT 223.3, $11.5 million to $14.5 million. This would include installing a new universal three-track interlocking at Milepost PT 228, west of Fostoria Crossing.

Train curving off one route with another track in the foreground.
The westbound Pennsylvanian at Marysville, Pa., on the NS Pittsburgh Line on March 8, 2021. Addition of 8 miles of third main between Marysville and the Amtrak station in Harrisburg are part of the plans to improve the Pennsylvanian’s route. Dan Cupper

— Constructing a new third main line for 8 miles between Amtrak’s Harrisburg passenger station (CP Harrisburg, Milepost PT 105) and CP Banks at Marysville, Milepost PT 113, $50 million to $55 million. This would include restoring a third track across the 3,860-foot-long stone-arch Rockville Bridge (built in 1902 to carry four tracks) and converting the existing CP Banks interlocking to a universal configuration, capable of handling moves from any of three tracks on the west side to any of five tracks on the east side.

The report recommends cutting back a portion of the Pittsburgh station’s trainshed roof to permit double-stack freight trains to pass. This would benefit NS freight traffic, not Amtrak, as it would sharply increase the number of freight-train movements — and thus, potential for congestion and delay — through downtown Pittsburgh.

Because of the trainshed and other overhead restrictions, all NS double-stack trains – about 16 a day – now bypass downtown, taking the single-track Port Perry Branch and the Mon Line on the city’s South Side. Opening up the downtown main line to double-stacks will increase potential for passenger-freight conflicts on the 13 miles between CP Wing interlocking at Wilmerding (Milepost PT 340) and the passenger station. NS has recently received the go-ahead for other clearance work to create a second route for double stacks [see “Norfolk Southern gets mediator’s approval …,” News Wire, March 7, 2022].

51 thoughts on “Plan to allow second ‘Pennsylvanian’ includes 12 new or upgraded NS interlockings

  1. PA should require.
    1. No penalty on dispatchers that ignore auto router and report of the problem has to go to IT to solve the problem.
    2. Also, a report to Amtrak that cannot be filtered by management to any caused delay by auto router.
    3. Enough dispatchers on any Amtrak route that they are not overloaded.
    4. Improvements will be exempt from property tax assessment.

  2. The “reduced capacity” on the Pittsburgh line is pure and simple a product of PSR plus Auto-Router plus Trip Optimizer. NS is running longer trains, far too long for most of the existing sidings, and therefore dispatchers can’t run Amtrak “around” them. Also trains in many cases are either underpowered, or powered-down by Trip Optimizer. And Dan Cupper’s experience with Auto Router speaks for itself. Both engineers and dispatchers are severely disciplined if they dare to over-ride either system the name of operational efficiency.

  3. I find it interesting that this second train is being “pushed forward” when PA is dropping its subsidy of various bus routes between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg as of April 1st. So towns such as Indiana, DuBois, Clearfield, and State College (plus others) will see a significant drop in transportation options. To me that’s a possible indication that the need for a second passenger train is not a given right now.

    Pittsburgh is something of a shadow of what is was 50 years ago. Very large drop in its population since then and, more importantly, the loss of just about all its corporation headquarters. Another problem is the stops on the line between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg have all lost significant population and industry during those same 50 years. Finally, the traffic going from Pittsburgh and the other stops to the Baltimore/Dc area which was and still is significant won’t be taking the train to go south by way of Philadelphia.

  4. Missing from all this: who pays the increased property taxes on all this property enhancement? Also: who pays the maintenance on all this unnecessary property enhancement but for the extra passenger train? Railroads typically turn down the proposed enhancements, long before any actual discussion of money, for three reasons: increased risk, increased property taxes, increased maintenance costs. When something like this actually comes to fruition it usually comes with a caveat of a frozen tax assessment for a period of time (maybe 10 years) and some added regular funds from the state…or in this case, Commonwealth.

  5. Charles, It is a tempting thought but Not one that I think a conservative one like you could ever support. My Dad (pen name Forsyth) back in the late forties wrote some articles for Trains and he was licensed to practice before the ICC for his employers. To level the playing field, Highways, Waterways, and Railways, he thought they should all be under common public ownership. But of course that is not in the cards with todays political environment. Back in his days, the ICC’s thumb on the rate scales favored the trucking and barge industries at the cost of almost destroying the RR’s. Today, the hedge funds and the RR’s are letting themselves kill themselves.
    It is easy for you and I to think how we would change things but we don’t have to face the board or the hedge funds.
    Operating Depts are being whipped to lower the O.R. and forget about serving the customer. Marketing, we don’t need to market, that costs money. Etc. If the executives had true vision, they should figure how to put more trailers on trains, and get them over the road at passenger train speeds so as to compete with trucks. BNSF has shown that they can move freight and is improving their plant incrementally. I just hope the other Class 1’s change before too much market says F@*# you. Shippers have testified about how hard it is to work with the RR’s. I love watching them, riding them (when it suits me) and operating them at museums. But it is sad to see what could be . Alden is destroying newspapers and hedge funds are destroying RR’s. I would like to have a trust buster like Teddy Roosevelt appear.

    1. Awesome post Mr. Wayman. “Operating Depts are being whipped to lower the O.R…”. And Amtrak with it’s once self-proclaimed mission of “Making the trains worth traveling again”, based on Bob Johnson’s latest article citing a trip report Orlando-Chicago, is doing just badly on the passenger side. One could be forgiven for seeing the entire industry as highballing down a branch line that’s signaled in only one direction, the mainline switch has been ripped out behind it, and the sign on the next station says “Oblivion”.

  6. So is this price just for one additional round trip or does it include the option of additional round trip additions? All the rail lines in this country should just be taken over by the Federal/State Govts to manage just as they do the highways, aviation & waterways . Let the FRA & State transportation depts open them to all who want to use them for a fee according to usage, distance, etc. The FRA could manage the main routes with the most demand charge a premium price the states could manage feeder lines charging shortlines a lesser price to maintain service to those communities. The NEC would be a good experiment. How could it be any worse/different since hwy users haven’t paid the bills for over a decade & aviation receives non user funding for air traffic control & security, barges use of lock & dams?

    1. GALEN — Here’s my take coming from the Far Right of the political spectrum —- I actually agree with you. We don’t have free market capitalism now, not even close. If NS wants the taxpayers to rebuild the railroad that Conrail downgraded, then NS should hand the railroad over to the taxpayers. Why should NS continue to own a railroad paid for with public funds? If NS wants to keep its railroad, then NS can pay for it.

      I’m with GALEN. Seize the railroad and charge NS a premium fee by the axle to use it. Have the taxpayers, not NS, laugh all the way to the bank. That’s my idea of free market capitalism.

  7. Mr. Wayman brings up a good question. Want these improvements? Agree to more future trains. NS has bought into the full PSR AND automation scam. They run monster trains that break down and tie up the railroad. Their dispatching system routes trains through crossovers for no apparent reason. I’ve been crossed over three times and never saw another train. Or crossover at one CP, cross back at the next not passing a train, only to find other opposing trains waiting on me.They have a formula for needed hp/ton that they almost completely refuse to deviate from. Thus you have a monster train being drug along at a very slow speed with one motor on line. And heaven forbid the DPU goes down. The the ENGINEER has to walk (fill in the distance here) to find out what is wrong. These monster trains can’t fit into yards and tie up mains trying to get out of yards. And they will never admit to how many trains stall on grades. Cleveland area is notorious for it with trains battling to get out of the Cuyahoga River Valley. And as far as a third main through the Pittsburgh station. Why? There are currently three stub tracks. These trains are going no further than Pittsburgh.

    1. Correct. Auto-Router is a disaster. In a prior life as an NS engineer, I was bringing a train up the Lurgan Branch eastward from Hagerstown, Md. The dispatcher called on the radio to apologize for our train being diverted into and out of a siding (with required speed reductions, etc.) at a time when the opposing train was in Reading, Pa., 75 miles away. Uncle Otto (Auto-Router) at work again. One dispatcher kept a terminal area fluid by overriding the system in a specific instance, making sure that priority UPS trains weren’t delayed. NS admitted that he’d done the “right” thing, but disciplined him anyway with some days on the street because he’d disobeyed orders to never override the computer.

    2. Having been a train dispatcher myself (Metra), I find that story of the NS guy who overrode Auto-Router to protect the efficient movement of priority traffic and got time off for that, to be utterly appalling. That’s supposed to create good morale and loyalty to your employer?

      One question for you, Mr. Cupper, regarding double stack clearances in the Pittsburgh depot, I thought the bridge over the Allegheny River just west of the depot also lacked doublestack clearance.

    3. Morale is a long topic unto itself. Suffice it to say that lately, engineers with 10 or more years’ seniority are bailing for jobs at Amtrak, Reading & Northern, and even modest-paying short lines to escape harassment and harsh new directives, such as being forced to work as conductors when needed because of layoffs of conductors brought on by PSR. This trend of leaving good-paying, secure T&E jobs used to occur with employees having five or fewer years of seniority, but never with older-hire people.

      The bridge over the Allegheny River is known as the Fort Wayne Bridge, named for the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne & Chicago Railroad, a PRR predecessor/subsidiary. I’ve been a conductor on TOFC and RoadRailer trains crossing the bridge, and the currently used upper deck seems as if it would be OK for high cars. Superliners cars (admittedly not as tall as double-stacks) use it every night on Amtrak’s Capitol Limited. A lower bridge deck, no longer used, would definitely be a crunch if those tracks were ever reopened.

      I may be mistaken but all I’ve ever heard is that — in addition to the station trainshed — the clearance restriction is posed by six overhead roadway bridges. Five of them cross above the NS Fort Wayne Line on the city’s North Side, and one more is at Shadyside, a few miles east of Pittsburgh station on the NS Pittsburgh Line. On the North Side, the Fort Wayne Line descends from the Fort Wayne Bridge and an elevated embankment at the site of the old PFtW&C Federal Street Station to a four-track trench below street level at Allegheny Commons West Park. See:

    4. Thank you for the most informative reply and the accompanying link, Mr. Cupper. Of course, the Ft. Wayne Bridge! Was having a “senior moment” and was too lazy to look it up before writing. Regarding that train dispatcher, did you ever learn any details of his investigation and whether his ATDA rep or the organisation

    5. In reply to Mark Shapp’s March 10 inquiry, no, I don’t know if the ATDA did anything, but he did serve the suspension. The cold facts were that he disobeyed a direct order, the cardinal sin on NS. He’s still dispatching for NS and is one of the best at communicating with crews about what’s coming up next and what moves to expect. As before, his hands are tied with regard to the computer-driven mayhem.

    6. Main question; why not use the Conemaugh instead of going through downtown with the wheel-squealing curves, lower speeds, and ripping up more of the train shed (like I-579 did).
      Why would the taxpayers need to be on the hook to improve all of these interlockings for NS? Which of course are the expensive part of the line. If adding on more train each way is going to create that much of a meltdown, you would think NS would already be working on these projects to relieve its own congestion…..
      Taxpayers on the hook to build something that a corporation ripped out so they wouldn’t have to pay taxes on the improvements…..Is it really going to pull that many more riders in? Of course, as expensive as the turnpike is getting, if people knew they had more than one option an day, it may work.

    7. For Matthew Vickinovac: The Conemaugh has a height-restricted tunnel at Saltsburg, located between Mileposts LC23 and LC24. Can’t handle high cars — autoracks or double-stacks.

  8. Disclaimer, I own some NS stock. It does not affect my post.
    NS is asking for everything they would like to get in the negotiations and think they can justify. Just as I would ask for all perks I could obtain in negotiating a deal on a car. I think its a little excessive but that’s up to the NS and Amtrak/STB negotiators to resolve). I would suggest that the Amtrak negotiators request the right for up to three more additional trains to be added if they pay for all of this. And in the late forties/early fifties when the PRR was running over 25 daily passenger trains (each way) they had four tracks, manned interlockings and frequent shorter freight trains. And you did NOT delay the Broadway nor the Pittsburger (both all Pullman trains)

  9. Blame for removal of the third main track between CP Cannon and CP Gray and across Rockville Bridge rests solely with Conrail and occurred circa 1985/1986. Recollect back in that time period Conrail was rationalizing their physical plant to reduce the burden to taxpayers. Conrail was still a government entity at that point.

    1. There’s a reason Conrail CEO L. Stanley Crane was known as “Rip ’em Up Stanley.”

  10. If I may play devil’s advocate: As much as many would say that it was short sighted that NS or others got rid of excess capacity, the bottom line is that NS owns the infrastructure. It is their property. If Amtrak and/or the state of Pennsylvania want to run another train, let them foot the bill. Why should NS have to provide the capacity? Especially since these trains are not paying the full cost for the track slots they use. Remember that freight trains make money and passenger trains lose money and are a pain in the butt to boot.

    1. OK, all true, but also remember that NS ran both daily trains, the Pennsylvanian and the Three Rivers, over the very same track structure that exists today. And with mail and express, they were long trains, not the seven-car Pennsylvanians of today. The only infrastructure changes since then have been the retirement of lineside intermediate signals, the installation of PTC, and the moving of the NS dispatching centers from Harrisburg and Pittsburgh to Atlanta. None of these should have degraded the fluidity of the railroad; in fact, they should have improved it. PennDOT could rightly ask (but won’t): What happened to the ability to handle two trains that you once managed without $171m in new infrastructure? NS used to run 60 freights a day here; with PSR, it’s down to about 45.

    2. I would love to be in the room when PennDOT most appropriately asks NS, “What happened to the ability to handle two trains you once managed…” in addition to 60 freights a day? Make ‘em own up to the fact they adopted an operating plan that that stresses their physical plant far more than did the previous operating plan. Then ask them why the PA taxpayers should have to pay to overcome their business decisions in order to get what they (hopefully) want.






  12. The difference between the Conrail era and the current Norfolk Southern is train lengths of up to two and a half miles (two trains in one). These trains take longer to build along with adding distributed power units (DPUs). They get in the way of other traffic. Profitable NS can afford to make these capacity improvements on its own without government money. BNSF and Union Pacific added double and third tracks to their western lines on their own not using public funding.

  13. Is it really worth all this taxpayer money just to get two more trains a day over this route? It really seems to me the present value of the social marginal cost greatly exceeds its social marginal benefit .

  14. Conrail ran many more trains over this line with the two Amtrak trains each way a day that this would restore. This is not a capacity problem. This is a management problem. That NS is now stumbling badly running far fewer trains than Conrail handled shows that the railroad is being badly mismanaged. Even NS under Moorman was able to keep the railroad fluid running 15-20 more trains a day than it currently runs. Maybe, stop running those ponderously heavy three mile trains in favour of lighter more frequent trains that move closer to track speed, and the capacity improvements can be justified.

  15. “It left unexplained how NS formerly managed to operate two daily Amtrak passenger trains each way between 1999, when it took over this part of Conrail, and 2004,”, again NS has short memory. On one point it’s good they’re showing some cooperation but there needs to be some oversight on what NS is asking for.

  16. What is a universal interlocking and particularly what is the difference with what is in place now at say the Maryville interlocking?

    1. A universal interlocking, also called a complete interlocking, is one that allows any movement from any track to any other track in any direction. CP Banks at Marysville, Pa., is not universal or complete because it doesn’t have enough switches in the right places to allow total freedom to move among all tracks in any direction. An eastbound train on No. 2 main cannot cross to Main 1. Likewise, a westbound train on Main 1 can’t cross to Main 2 at Banks.

  17. Perhaps this very thing was a long game strategy all along: let’s rip up the tracks, save a few bucks for the time being then, years later let the government (taxpayers) pay to put it back so WE can use it exactly when we need the capacity.

    1. You give these corporations far too much too much credit for having the foresite to play a long-game. Furthermore, I imagine it was PC or Conrail that ripped up the “extra capacity.”

      Probably more like flawed policy– subsidizing the competition (highways, waterways and aviation) without giving a break to the railroads on regulations or taxes– begets costs way down the road.

    2. You all forgot the elephant in the room in the northeastern states – property taxes.
      CSX is still ripping out tracks in NY because of obscene property taxes.

  18. It just gripes me when infrastructure that was ripped out by shortsighted management in the name of dividend yield have to be returned/replaced at exorbitant cost – in this case to the taxpayers.

    Guess that “excessive capacity” wasn’t so excessive after all.

  19. In other words, taxpayers would be paying to restore capacity that NS and its predecessors previously removed.

    1. Mega-dittoes, James. You summed it up in one sentence. That’s exactly what’s happening.

      Add one pair of six-car Amtrak trains, so pay NS to rebuild its freight railroad almost back to the freight capacity it once had.

    2. Points well taken Charles and James. But don’t we the general public/taxpayers do it, and have been doing it for decades, the same thing for the highways and major arterials that hand the truckers and the intercity bus lines on a silver platter rights-of-ways they have zero responsibility for designing, building, operating, and maintaining?

    3. There is a fuel tax apportioned by state that motor freight carriers pay.

      And, I can’t remember how many times in trucking I was told, “ Patrick, go on over to the highway department today. It’s our company’s turn to help them design some bridges.”

      We’ll, the first part is true.

  20. Well, I’m gonna be an outlier here and state I am hugely in favor of these project that will add mainline track capacity and increase operational flexibility. Doing this is a helluva lot more constructive (no pun intended) than subscribing to the never-ending, disgraceful NARP/RPA bad-mouthing the Class 1s for not giving priority handling to Amtrak. I’ve said it before on these pages and I’ll say it again: If there is adequate capacity and operational flexibility the problems of priority largely go away under normal operating conditions. Now I’m not for a millisecond supporting NS’ allegiance/addiction to PSR and it’s contribution to the congestion on the Pittsburgh Line author Cupper cites. NS needs to show some good faith and back off from that hugely flawed, IMHO, operations plan.

    1. Okay Mark, okay, no argument, we want better railroads. Just remember who’s paying for it. Answer: Taxpayers whose federal income tax goes to paying the interest on the ever-exanding debt.

  21. Let’s just make this simple. America is based on corporate welfare. The so-called Infrastructure Bill is corporate welfare piled on top of corporate welfare piled on top of corporate welfare.

    Wisconsin’s governor Scott K. Walker lost re-election in part because of his unpopular FoxConn corporate welfare con, opposed by all Democrat voters and many Republican voters (like me) as well. Where are those Democrat voters, with today’s government policies making the FoxConn corporate welfare con look like pennies.

    1. Charles: You make a comment about corporate welfare in the contexct of an article about a proposed plan for infrastructure improvements to increase passenger rail service in Pennsylvania. Whatever criticisms one may have of this plan, the proposed deal between the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Norfolk Southern does not make the Foxconn deal “look like pennies.” As discussed in the article, $171 million would be spent on rail infrastructure work in Pennsylvania. As of October 2021, the State of Wisconsin spent $681 million in upfront costs and another $552 million is forthcoming. The original plan was for Wisconsin to contribute up to $3 billion, but Foxconn never met its milestones for such an expenditure to occur. Source:

  22. The main problem with the Rockville Bridge is not the lack of a third set of rails rather it is the long trains from the Buffalo Line going to and from Enola Yard that block the bridge to other trains. It’s not unusual to see a miles long train sitting along US 22/322 waiting for clearance to cross the bridge and block all other traffic.

  23. I’m beginning to suspect the Class 1’s run this RTC modeling with “two thumbs on the scale”…🤔

  24. Sure smells like corporate welfare. Hoping the Feds crack down on these bloated capacity requests by the railroads in the Louisiana case now pending. I don’t mind spending money on passenger rail, but I don’t want it just flowing to the private rail shareholders. Seems like ultimately, we may need separate ROWs for the passenger trains–witness the recent coal derailment on the NEC. With a former four track ROW, there should be room for a passenger only main and we would no longer be held hostage by NS for future capacity increases.

  25. I do not see why all these improvements are needed. With precision railroading and the decline of the coal business. There are a lot less freight trains running on the Pittsburgh Line. The state should have researched this a little better. I am glad to see passenger service expanded in PA. Service is definitely needed to other parts of the state. Allentown, Reading, Scranton -Wilkes-Barre for example

  26. Would appreciate those much more knowledgeable on this matter to offer current passenger count on the Pittsburgh-Harrisburg corridor. And the projected or forecast passenger count for the enhanced service. In other words, kindly abstract the density needs. Thanks.

You must login to submit a comment