Rally to support Amtrak scheduled

From staff reports

LEWISTOWN – Local leaders are planning a rally in support of keeping Amtrak service for Lewistown and other Pennsylvania towns.

The rally will take place at 11 a.m. Thursday at the train station, located at 150 Helen St. in Lewistown.

A change in federal law starting in October could result in the demise of Amtrak passenger train service for Lewistown.

Without the federal funding, Pennsylvania would have to pay approximately $5.7 million to keep the train running.

The federal law changing this fall will not provide funding for rail routes of less than 750 miles, and the “Pennsylvanian” rail line that runs from Pittsburgh to Harrisburg, which includes a stop in Lewistown, is considerably shorter than that.

The Great American Stations, an organization that maintains a database of information regarding train stations, recorded more than 8,000 passengers who used the Lewistown station during fiscal year 2012, which brought in over $300,000 in ticket revenue.

Gov. Tom Corbett’s Multimodal Transportation Fund would appropriate about $80 million over several years to assist with railways and other transportation projects, but it remains unclear if Amtrak would receive any money from this fund.