Resources > Frequently Asked Questions
Advancing PA Rail evolved from Plan the Keystone, an initiative launched in 2009 to share improvements for rail passengers at the 12 Keystone Corridor train stations from Harrisburg to Philadelphia. Broadly, the goals are to meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements, by constructing upgrades to outdated stations along the line and ensuring that improvements complement local revitalization efforts.
When the initiative was originally launched, planning outreach was conducted in each of the 12 communities, with the public and local leaders closely involved. Today, many of those envisioned improvements have been completed, and numerous projects continue to advance from planning through design to construction, as described on this site.
Plan the Keystone was revitalized to become Advancing PA Rail in late 2023, in order to continue highlighting projects and promoting rail transit in Pennsylvania.
ADA Accessibility: Each station will be improved to be fully accessible and compliant with the 2006 U.S. Department of Transportation Accessibility Standards. In addition to providing access to persons with disabilities, improvements such as high-level platforms, ramps, and elevators make rail travel easier for all passengers.
State-of-Good-Repair Projects: Each station has different needs, from better parking to a new roof, to enhanced signage, to safer pedestrian connections, and more. PennDOT is working closely with local communities to develop station facilities that are in good condition, support growing ridership, and anchor station-area redevelopment.
Yes. Where appropriate PennDOT would advance certain projects through P3 agreements. Please see PennDOT's Public-Private Partnership website for more information.
Please see PennDOT's Public-Private Partnership website for more information.
Moving a project through planning, design, and construction—while engaging in proactive public involvement, coordinating with local redevelopment initiatives, obtaining environmental approvals, meeting federal and state requirements, securing funding, developing/finalizing construction, maintenance and operations agreements—does take time. Learn more about the project development process.
Please contact the service provider for schedule and pricing information. On the Keystone Corridor, intercity passenger rail is operated by Amtrak and Philadelphia regional commuter rail is operated between Downingtown and Philadelphia by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA).
Most stations are also served by local and intercity buses. Please contact the bus company directly for service details. Links are provided on the station pages of this site.
All Amtrak stations between Downingtown and Philadelphia are served by SEPTA commuter rail in addition to Amtrak passenger rail: Downingtown – Exton – Paoli – Ardmore – Philadelphia.
For SEPTA schedule information, please visit www.SEPTA.org.
Currently, trains between Harrisburg and Philadelphia operate at an average speed of 60 mph. Average speed on the Keystone West between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg is 45 mph.
Infrastructure improvements permit a maximum operating speed of 110 mph on the Keystone East.
Amtrak’s Keystone Corridor and its predecessor rail lines developed along the routes of early Pennsylvania roadways and canals, which had followed Native American trails. Many of the Keystone Corridor’s station buildings were constructed by the Pennsylvania Railroad in the late 1800s and early 1900s—some of those buildings are still in use today.
PennDOT is developing a series of booklets, available at the links below, to document and share historical station photos, research, and the story of how rail shaped each community and the greater region.