PennDOT will review a number of previous studies and collect information on ridership, current and projected freight activity, track and platform alignments and the condition of the line, as well as an estimate of how much improvements will cost, according to the Pennsylvania Business Report.

Norfolk Southern (NS) owns the corridor between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh while Amtrak operates an hourly service east of Harrisburg and the cross-state Pennsylvanian, a daily train in each direction between New York, Philadelphia, Harrisburg and Pittsburgh.

PennDOT will consult with both operators as part of its research and will provide ridership estimates, a travel demand marketing assessment and three potential service plans.

“I know the appetite for such service remains strong in western Pennsylvania, and I have asked PennDOT to check once again about whether such a step is possible,” says Pennsylvania governor, Mr Tom Wolf. “This study will help answer some important unresolved questions about a way forward with this added service for western Pennsylvania.”