Increasing Passenger Rail Service from Pittsburgh Would Be Costly, Studies Show

Transportation advocates are calling for expanded rail service to the east, but studies indicate the needed infrastructure improvements would be pricey.

September 17, 2019, 7:00 AM PDT

By Camille Fink


Amtrak ACS-64

BeyondDC / flickr

Ed Blazina reports on the possibility of expanding passenger rail service from Pittsburgh. "Over the years, efforts to increase service from Pittsburgh have ebbed and flowed with studies from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and other groups periodically estimating the cost of more train service. But little has actually happened."

PennDOT is negotiating a new study with Norfolk Southern, notes Blazina. Prior studies have shown that service expansions would come with a hefty price tag. For example, a study completed in June looking at increasing service from Pittsburgh to Altoona to the east would require $1.2 billion for track and station improvements and an additional $3.7 billion if a third track is part of the plan. 

Transportation advocates say the projected figures are too high and additional service could be put into place for much less. They also argue that service expansions should focus on broader service areas and connections between large job centers, such as Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

Monday, August 26, 2019 in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Gentrification

What We Really Mean When We Say Gentrification

The focus on gentrifying communities has, in many cases, eclipsed the similar problems facing more stagnant neighborhoods.

September 14, 2021 - Vox

Brooklyn Redevelopment

Study: Market-Rate Development Filters Into Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing

New research sheds new light on one of the most hotly debated questions in planning and development.

September 15, 2021 - Full Stack Economics

Los Angeles, California

The End of Single-Family Zoning in California

Despite a few high-profile failures, the California State Legislature has approved a steady drumbeat of pro-development reforms that loosen zoning restrictions. The state raised the stakes on its zoning reforms this week.

September 19, 2021 - Office of Governor Gavin Newsom

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.