Funding to restore railways connecting Pennsylvania towns to New York announced

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The Schuylkill River Passenger Rail Authority (SRPRA) will receive $500,000 to connect southeastern Pennsylvania towns to New York by train, U.S. Reps. Madelaine Dean (D-PA) and Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) announced Tuesday.

The project would restore and update existing railway tracks between Reading and Philadelphia that were previously used for passenger travel. The railway will connect Reading to Philadelphia and then New York City, with between four and eight daily round-trips, with stops in Pottstown, Phoenixville and Norristown.

“Expanding our railways is one of the best ways we can spur growth and create economic opportunities for Pennsylvania residents,” Dean said. “Whether passengers use these new rail lines for their daily commute or for leisure, increased access to Philadelphia and New York – especially for the more rural areas of our community like Reading, Pottstown, and Phoenixville – is an investment in the people and communities that need it most.”

Officials said the funding is the result of work done by the Pennsylvania Congressional Delegation; Berks, Chester and Montgomery counties; and the Greater Reading Chamber of Alliance.

“We are thrilled to hear that the Schuylkill River Passenger Rail project was selected into the Federal Rail Administration’s Corridor ID Program. Reestablishing passenger rail access from Reading to Philadelphia and beyond is a once in a generational economic development opportunity for this region,” Jim Gerlach, President & CEO of the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance said. “A credit is due to the Berks Alliance for funding the study that showed this was feasible, to the Commissioners from Berks, Chester, and Montgomery County for leading in the creation of the SRPRA, to our state and federal legislative delegation members for their bipartisan support, and to all of the Authority members, staff, and community partners who have worked together to get us one step closer getting a train back on the tracks.”