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'You're Packing Your Suitcase Right Now': PennDOT, LVTS to Launch Passenger Rail Study | WDIY Local News

Two people walk next to a train.
Stephen Mease

PennDOT and a local metropolitan planning organization will be launching a study to look at possibly bringing rail service back to the Lehigh Valley. WDIY’s Sarit Laschinsky has more.

During a virtual Lehigh Valley Transportation Study meeting Wednesday, Jennie Louwerse, PennDOT’s Deputy Secretary for Multimodal Transportation said PennDOT will be funding a passenger rail feasibility study for the region.

The study will be a partnership between PennDOT and the LVTS, and will be the first U.S. Department of Transportation-compliant survey of its type to be undertaken in the Lehigh Valley.

It will launch in about two months, with an anticipated completion time of around 12 months.

Louwerse said it will meet federal standards for analyses, and stay consistent with the state’s rail plan, and FutureLV: The Regional Plan.

As part of its long-term vision, Amtrak has included three proposed corridors for Pennsylvania - to Reading, Scranton, and a connection between Allentown and New York City.

Louwerse said the Federal Railroad Administration, which is in charge of distributing rail funding, has been soliciting expressions of interest for new rail services, reinstated services, and service expansions.

(Original air-date: 8/17/22)

Sarit "Siri" Laschinsky was WDIY's News and Public Affairs Director until 2023.
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