Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Makes Rail Plan Available for Public Review

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has made the Pennsylvania Intercity Passenger and Freight Rail Plan available for public review.

The plan provides guidance on future rail needs and presents ways to enhance passenger and freight rail development to support economic growth and environmental sustainability, according to PennDOT Secretary Allen D. Biehler.

"This plan outlines what we want Pennsylvania's rail system to look like in 25 years and identifies our challenges in achieving those goals," Biehler said. "We now have a complete inventory of our passenger and freight rail infrastructure and we know the needs that each mode will face in the future. Having a sound plan is a first step toward a smart planning approach, but there is no getting around the fact that transportation funds are shrinking, and especially now that revenue from Act 44 will be dramatically reduced."

The agency said the plan, which was developed with input from both public and private stakeholders, fulfills the requirements of the Railroad Safety Enhancement Act of 2008, State Rail Plans and the Pennsylvania Rail Freight Preservation and Improvement Act Comprehensive Rail Freight Study. It is intended to help guide federal and state rail investments within the state and provide a base document for additional analyses of goods movement in other modes.