A few days ago in Washington D.C. US Senators Specter and Bob Casey met with Transportation Secretary LaHood to make recommendations for funding of important Pennsylvania high-speed rail projects. Congressmen Paul Kanjorski and Tim Holden also joined the meeting. According to Senator Spector the meeting with Secratary LaHood was productive and he is very optimistic that Pennsylvania’s important high speed rail projects will receive the support and money needed to proceed. He also stated that the Lackawanna Cutoff is important to the long-term economic growth of Northeastern Pennsylvania, and supporting Maglev is critical to develop the next generation of passenger rail technology.
Promising projects like these will create jobs and promote prolonged economic growth. For the success of this project the state and federal partners need to come together.
During the meeting, the Senators discussed the economic benefits of the Lackawanna Cutoff and emphasized on the Department of Transportation to support this project through upcoming funding opportunities. The Senators, with the Department of Transportation, planned a follow up meeting with federal and state partners to take these efforts further. In addition, Specter and Casey discussed the benefits of Maglev as an investment in next-generation technology. The Senators proposed to LaHood to grant the sum of $28 million that the Federal Railroad Administration awarded to the project in September 2009.
The Recovery Act included $26.4 million for the Pennsylvania’s Keystone Corridor to improve the rail service between Harrisburg and Philadelphia, as well as funding for a feasibility study for high speed rail service between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh. Funding to reestablish rail service between Scranton and New York City, as well as for Maglev in Pittsburgh, was not included.