PA Speed line could be on the fast track

    Present Obama’s recent commitment to high-speed rail development means Pennsylvania transportation officials will have to figure out the best way to move forward with a Pittsburgh to Philadelphia line over the next few months.

    President Obama’s recent commitment to high-speed rail development means Pennsylvania transportation officials will have to figure out the best way to move forward with a Pittsburgh to Philadelphia line over the next few months.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090417sdrail.mp3]

    A high-speed line running through Pittsburgh, Harrisburg and Philadelphia was one of ten corridors singled out by the Obama Administration for funding.

    Transportation expert Jeremy Plant, a public administration professor at Penn State Harrisburg, says if the line gets built, PennDOT officials will need to decide whether to improve on existing rail infrastructure, or build a new line with maglev technology.

    Plant: And a lot of it’s going to depend on how much the administration wants to see a interconnected high-speed rail system, which would almost inevitably be based on the traditional steel wheel on rail technology that we have now. Or whether they’d be willing to see kind of a hybrid system that would mix maglev technology with the steel rail.

    PennDOT spokesman Rich Kirkpatrick says the department expects to learn more details about the federal government’s plan in June, but he understands administration officials would rather build on existing lines.

    President Obama wants to spend $13 billion on high-speed rail over the next five years.

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