HARRISBURG – PennDOT and Norfolk Southern have reached an agreement to expand passenger rail access in western PA. The milestone follows a February 22nd announcement that the parties would jointly examine opportunities to eliminate choke-points and improve PA‘s rail system to better permit freight and passenger trains to operate together. Currently, the Pennsylvanian Amtrak service travels round-trip between New York City and Pittsburgh via Harrisburg once daily. The agreement anticipates increasing those passenger services to twice a day. Eastbound service would depart Pittsburgh at 7 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. and westbound service would depart Harrisburg at 9:41 a.m. and 4:40 p.m. To support the expanded operations, the Commonwealth will invest more than $200 million in infrastructure and safety improvements that will be constructed and maintained by Norfolk Southern. The parties anticipate a final definitive agreement to be developed by the end of 2022. Construction can begin after the definitive agreement is executed, with the new service anticipated to start within three years of the definitive agreement’s execution.