Resources > Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

The 353-mile-long corridor traverses Pennsylvania from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia. It was developed in the late 1800s by the Pennsylvania Railroad and continues to carry both passenger and freight traffic. The western portion between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg is known as the Keystone West, and the track is owned by Norfolk Southern Corporation. The Keystone East is the eastern portion between Harrisburg and Philadelphia, and the track is owned by Amtrak.

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 Broadly, the goals are to meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements, by constructing upgrades to outdated stations along the line and ensuring that improvements complement local revitalization efforts.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.

PennDOT receives funding from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for capital improvements on the Keystone East, which had to be spent in the Harrisburg, Lancaster, and Philadelphia regions. Federal funding for Keystone West is limited to discretionary grant programs from US DOT and requires matching State funds.

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

View the Stations page and navigate to the desired station by clicking the station name on the sidebar menu or on the map. The approximate number of parking spaces is provided in the station’s description.
Yes, PennDOT and Norfolk Southern (NS) are partnering to advance projects to allow Amtrak to double service between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg (and on to Philadelphia and New York City), running two trains each direction, each day. Before additional passenger service can be accommodated on the line, which is owned by Norfolk Southern, major rail infrastructure and safety improvements must be completed. PennDOT is providing funding and Norfolk Southern will construct and maintain the improvements.
At this time PennDOT does not have plans to increase service between Harrisburg and Philadelphia in the near future. PennDOT’s first priority is to utilize available funding to sustain the existing Amtrak passenger service, which has been possible due to the increase in state funding provided through Act 89 of 2013. PennDOT continues to explore options to improve and expand passenger rail service within available funding.
In October 2014, Amtrak placed into service new Amtrak Cities Sprinter (ACS-64) electric locomotives. For its Keystone Service (Harrisburg – Philadelphia – New York), Amtrak uses train sets comprised of an electric locomotive, four coaches, and a cab car. Amtrak’s Pennsylvanian Service (Pittsburgh – Harrisburg – Philadelphia – New York) uses train sets with a diesel locomotive, five coaches, a café car, and a baggage car.

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.

Members of the press may reach the PennDOT Press Office by telephone at 717-783-8800 or by e-mail at

Amtrak has partnered with the Plenary Infrastructure Philadelphia (PIP) as the master developer whose responsibility is to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the station improvements for 50 years as part of a public-private partnership (P3) agreement. The project has an estimated capital construction value of $550 million with major elements of the station restoration and renovation to include:

  • modernizing and expanding station food & beverage and retail offerings
  • improving station operations and enhancing the customer experience
  • upgrading The Porch landscaping and community amenities
  • modernizing Amtrak corporate offices
  • enhancing building infrastructure to achieve and maintain a state of good repair