By Tony Romeo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – During budget hearings this past week, the state transportation secretary addressed concerns that passenger rail service between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh could come to an end. KYW Harrisburg Bureau Chief Tony Romeo reports…

Ending service between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh would mean a longer trip for passengers departing Philadelphia for Pittsburgh and other points west. An Amtrak official estimates that making a connection in Washington would add three hours to a trip to Pittsburgh. Testifying before the House Appropriations Committee this past week, PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch said he doesn’t want that to happen…

“We have no intention of stopping the train service from Harrisburg to Pittsburgh. However, we are objecting to what we believe is an unfair assessment of Amtrak on the cost of providing that service.”

Schoch says PennDOT will continue to battle Amtrak over what he claims is their demand for a subsidy of $27 per ride on the route… and a spokeswoman for PennDOT says ultimately, it will be Amtrak that decides whether service continues.

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