Following its first meeting, the Schuylkill River Passenger Rail Authority has submitted a letter of intent to the Federal Railroad Administration to restore passenger rail from Reading to Philadelphia.
This initial procedural step indicates the SRPRA’s intent to advance passenger rail to Reading as part of Amtrak’s New York-Philadelphia-Reading corridor and FRA’s Corridor Identification and Development Program.
The Corridor ID Program will create a pipeline of corridors to guide future federal investments, specifically funds from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
Amtrak’s vision for the corridor is to increase mobility for Reading and Philadelphia residents to and from the broader Northeast region with daily multi-frequency service. Amtrak specifically cites corridor growth, environment and transportation equity, and connections to higher education as reasons to restore passenger rail to Reading.
“The SRPRA is hopeful we will receive notice from the FRA to submit a formal proposal to participate in the Corridor ID Program later this year,” said SRPRA Chair and Berks County Commissioner Christian Leinbach.
“The creation of a new authority, with initial operating funds of $100,000 per county, demonstrates the commitment and public support for the restoration of this passenger rail service.”
If the SRPRA is selected to submit a formal proposal, it will be notified by FRA in May 2023 if passenger rail to Reading on the New York-Philadelphia-Reading Amtrak corridor will move forward.
Selected projects will have FRA support for the creation of detailed Service Development Plans that will define the projects needed for the corridor and guide delivery of federal funding.